Pianist Reid Smith is reaching out to pianists and violinists in Richmond County in hopes of luring them to Italy.
Smith has been invited to become part of the faculty for the 2014 Lovere International Music Festival. The festival will be held from July 30 to Aug. 8 in Lovere, Italy, near the famous big city of Milan. Smith is the only American in a staff that includes teachers from Italy, Japan and Russia.
This will be the fifth time this festival will be staged. The entire program is open to students ages 5 to adult of all level of abilities. The festival will offer a full immersion program while giving the students an international learning experience.
Smith, a native of Rockingham, is always looking for an opportunity to offer up a chance to students in the area, said Peggy Smith, his mother.
“He grew up here,” Peggy Smith said. “He knows what it’s like to search for different opportunities.”
Smith is a graduate of The Juilliard School and currently resides in St. Paul, Minn., where he is the director of the Dellwood Hills Piano School. He has been on the faculty of summer festivals in France, Spain, Azerbaijan and Italy.
There will be four categories for piano. Those categories are, students ages 5 to 12 who have had at least one year of piano study and play at an elementary-intermediate level, adult amateurs who play at an intermediate level, advanced students of all ages and advanced students who wish to also perform a movement of a concerto with the Milan Chamber Orchestra. Violin students will be admitted to categories two through four only.
Among the students attending is Rockingham Middle School teacher John Tyson. Tyson is in his fourth year of teaching, a Rockingham native and is a graduate of East Carolina University where he received his bachelor of music degree in music education. He also is the RMS choir director. Tyson has been playing the piano since he was 9 years old.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to study with such great pianists,” Tyson said. “I took a two-year break from playing this type of music at such a high level. I have been seriously studying piano again the past six months with pianist Teddy Robie in Raleigh and have skyrocketed.”
There will be many performance opportunities offered to students as well as concerts, private lessons and seminars. Auditions will not be required for category one, two and three students, but category three students should have prepared and memorized several pieces for public performance. Students who wish to play a concerto movement with orchestra must submit a recording with second piano for consideration.
“I will be practicing very hard up until my departure,” Tyson said. “I purchased a Steinway grand piano a few months ago and I believe it has aided in my development. After all, the music that a pianist can produce is limited to the instrument that they have to play on.”
Participants will be housed in an air-conditioned hotel in the port town of Lovere near the festival center. Lodging and meals are included in the tuition. For those interested, a deposit is required by April 25 to secure the hotel reservation.
For more information, go to the web site DrReidSmith.com or contact Smith at DrReidSmith@aol.com.