November 2, 2022 — “Not All Composers Are Dead White Guys” is the theme for the piano recital to be given by students at SF under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Mitch McKay at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus. Admission is free.
“I want people to know that classical music is for everyone!” McKay exclaimed about his choice of the recital’s theme. “There’s a common misconception that classical music is elitist or white music, but this music was written by all kinds of people, many if not most of whom were not wealthy. Classical music is full of excitement, humor, romance, suspense—it’s not just background music for wine tasting and caviar.”
Selections to be performed include music written by women, people of color, and well-known European composers. Artists include Hale Smith and William Grant Still, Yoshinao Nakada, Clara Schumann, and Cecile Chaminade, as well as music by Liszt and Beethoven.
Seventeen of McKay’s students, including 13 SF students and four private students, will gain significant experience by playing SF’s Steinway piano.
“The Steinway is our only full-size concert grand, so it’s important for them to get that experience,” McKay said. “The tone quality—especially the rich, full bass notes—is vastly different from that of a smaller piano. There is a bigger dynamic range and far more potential for creating different colors on a concert Steinway than on a smaller piano. The Fine Arts Hall has excellent acoustics; playing in a large space is very different from playing in a small practice room or in someone’s living room.”
McKay earned his doctorate in piano performance from Michigan State University. Since he was hired by Santa Fe College in 2012, he has been invited to perform at the Florida State Music Teachers Association and to judge various piano competitions in the Southeast. McKay’s students have gained recognition in competitions, including the Florida Foundation for the Promotion of Music’s Sonata Festival, the Florida Federation of Music Clubs Festival, and the Alcorn State University Piano Competition.