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Press Release



April 5, 2010

Dr. Tham shines during faculty recital


Dr. ThamCowley College Humanities instructor, Dr. Gloria Tham, presented her first faculty recital Thursday in the Robert Brown Theatre on the Arkansas City campus. The piano recital featured solo pieces by Handel, Brahms and Chopin. In addition, Dr. Tham performed two Chinese-inspired pieces by Tcherepnin and Stephen Hough.

Those in attendance were moved by the music on display.

“The evening was absolutely beautiful,” said Slade Griffiths, Cowley College vice president of academic affairs. “I am proud and honored to have Dr. Tham on the faculty here at the college. She is passionate about her music and about student learning – a true professional.”

Dr. Tham was joined by Connie Donatelli, director of vocal music, during a duet sonata by Mozart.
“It was a great experience to work with my colleague, Connie Donatelli,” Dr. Tham said. “We had to make adjustments to our individual playing styles to create this ensemble experience.”

This was the first recital that Dr. Tham has played that was not required of her.  That freedom allowed her to experiment with different interpretations, sound colors and technical approaches to the recital.

“I remember that it was in the second half of the recital that it really dawned on me that this recital I'm playing solely because I love performing and I chose to bask in the spotlight at that moment,” Dr. Tham said. “I really wanted to communicate to the audience that classical piano is an art form, a demanding one.”

Dr. Tham said the concert would not have been such a success without the nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano, the wonderful acoustics in the Robert Brown Theatre, and the technical equipment that were necessary for the performance.

“Even the simple items like flowers on stage, make a huge difference in setting the mood for the recital,” Dr. Tham said.

Having graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield summa cum laude in 2002, with a degree in piano performance, Dr. Tham went on to Wichita State University where she finished her masters of music degree in piano performance.

In August 2009, Dr. Tham graduated with a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She also studied abroad as a Chinese language student at the Central University of Nationalities, in Beijing, China in the fall of 2008.

Dr. Tham was thankful to have the opportunity to perform her first recital in Cowley County.

“I am overjoyed to play my first recital after my doctorate as a piano faculty person back here in Kansas,” Dr. Tham said. “A different place would not have been as sweet to mark an important milestone in my musical journey.”

Guests at the recital also had an opportunity to view the Sophomore Art Show in the Earle N. Wright Community Room before and after the performance. A reception was held following the recital in celebration of both events.