Pianists invited to third annual Sonatina Festival

Leah Rankin | Staff Writer

This Sunday, all amateur pianists at Chautauqua are invited to take part in the annual Sonatina Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Sherwood-Marsh Studios.

Musicians will have the opportunity to perform for Rebecca Penneys, Chautauqua School of Music piano chair, and get valuable advice from this seasoned teacher and performer.

“It’s an ongoing tradition,” Penneys said. “It’s an opportunity for people who are not necessarily on the track to performing to get feedback and have fun performing.”

The festival, now in its third year, allows musicians of any age to perform and listen to others play in a relaxed setting.

Every performer receives a Certificate of Participation, and three Award of Excellence certificates will be distributed. The Award of Excellence recipients will have the opportunity to perform in a master class with Penneys and are invited to play in an Honors Recital in Chautauqua next summer.

“Lots of people who are amateurs don’t have a chance to perform in front of people,” Penneys said.

Penneys will not only give tips on how to improve technique but also will offer advice on how to enjoy playing and have fun in a performance setting.

As the Chautauqua School of Music’s season draws to a close this weekend, many talented pianists have gained extraordinary insight from Penneys’ experience and highly regarded pedagogy. But Penneys said there is just as much passion and enthusiasm from community members who may only play the piano for pure enjoyment.

“There’s talent all over,” Penneys said, “and that’s nice to see.”

Whether you want to impress your friends or just enjoy a day of making music, the Sonatina Festival offers an incomparable summer music experience.