January 23, 2007

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Pianist Clipper Erickson will give a lecture-demonstration, "Nathaniel Dett's Music," Monday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.

The Monday lecture-demonstration, which is free to the public, is held in conjunction with the performance by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in the Weis Center on Friday, Feb. 2.

The Chorale is named after the internationally renowned composer, pianist and choral director R. Nathaniel Dett.

Born in 1882 to a Canadian mother and an American father, Dett was the first African-American to earn a bachelor's degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a major in composition and piano. He later founded the School of Music, the Hampton Choral Union, the Musical Arts Society and the Hampton Institute Choir.

Dett is remembered chiefly for the choral works he composed based on African-American spirituals. As an educator and choral conductor, he illustrated the unique musical heritage of African-Americans.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale has performed with the likes of opera diva Kathleen Battle and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and at events honoring Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Ali. Tickets to the Friday evening performance are $20, available at the door or online at http://www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice/

Erickson, who teaches piano at Westminster Conservatory and recently was a member of the Bucknell music faculty, has brought innovative programs to school children, residents of nursing homes, church groups and prisons. He appears several times each year before such groups, including churches in the area where he lives in suburban Philadelphia.

Erickson studied piano at Indiana University, The Juilliard School and Yale University. After making his orchestral debut at age 19, in Los Angeles, he began performing as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout the United States. He has appeared at famous concert venues including the Kennedy Center.

The recipient of many honors throughout his career, Erickson has won prizes at several international competitions including the Busoni Competition, the William Kapell Competition and the American Pianists Association auditions. For more information, link to http://www.clippererickson.com/

Posted Jan. 23, 2007