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Lander Students Bring Talent to Annual Keyboard Festival

Many hands have been busy at practice and play in preparation for Lander University's upcoming Keyboard Festival Ensemble Recital, Thursday, March 17, at 8 p.m., in Lander's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. The ensemble will feature two pianos, two Lander faculty members, a handful of Lander students and a few guest performers. The group is sure to amaze the audience with as many as four players taking to the keyboards at one time.

The concert is part of the 30th Annual Lander Keyboard Festival. This event was established by Dr. Marianne Lenti, Lander professor emeritus of music, to showcase students' work in their piano ensemble class. The event grew to include other performers and additional concerts. This year's festival series began with a fall concert featuring emerging artist and Chinese pianist Jie Fang.

Ensemble members are: Dr. Anthony Lenti, Lander professor emeritus of music; Dr. Robert Kelley, Lander assistant professor of music; and Lander students Kevin Baggett of Greenwood; Joseph Chabek of Anderson; Kelly Hammond of Greenwood; Tyler Lambert of Chapin; Matt Miller of Greenwood; Kelley Robertson of Hodges; and Haley Shelton of Greenwood. Kelsie Burgin of Abbeville and Mitchell Vinkler of Ninety Six, both high school seniors, will also perform with the group, along with Lander alumnae Anne-Marie and Carol Johnson, both of Greenwood.

Ensemble pianists will perform music with four hands on one piano, four hands on two pianos and eight hands on two pianos. The selections include Beethoven's only sonata for piano duet, a youthful work with both lyrical and dramatic elements; duets by Vladimir Rebikov and Georges Bizet, which depict scenes of childhood; and the most famous work by Franz Liszt, "Liebestraum," or "Dream of Love," which will be heard as an arrangement for two pianos.

The final portion of the concert will be devoted to three arrangements of solo works by Russian composer and concert pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. "All three explore the dark and turbulent emotional palette characteristic of Russian romantic musicians," said Dr. Anthony Lenti.

The performance is free and open to the public. For information, call Lander's College of Arts and Humanities at 864-388-8323. Information about other upcoming Lander arts events is available on the university's website,