University of Mobile and Alabama School of the Arts Present 2018-2019 Piano Festival

Rivers Brunson News

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile announces the second annual Piano Festival, a yearlong series of special events spotlighting Alabama School of the Arts’ undergraduate and graduate programs in piano performance.

The series includes master classes and seminars, student and faculty recitals, and special performances by Elite 88, UM’s premier piano ensemble. All events are free of charge and open to the public.

Each event in the Piano Festival will be held in Moorer Auditorium, located in Martin Hall on the campus of University of Mobile, 5735 College Parkway, Mobile, Alabama 36613.

Weekly master classes for piano students, both those enrolled at University of Mobile and those from the public, will be held each Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. They will feature instruction and performance by Steinway Artist Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, director of piano studies and professor of music. Occasionally. extended master classes will be led by special guests.


The Alabama School of the Arts Piano Festival includes:

Master Class: Dr. Robin Williams, professor of music, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana — Sept. 12, 2 p.m.

Faculty Recital: Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, featuring compositions by members of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance — Oct. 9, 7 p.m.


Master Class: Dr. Jerry Alan Bush, distinguished professor emeritus of music, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama — Oct. 10, 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Junior Recital: Erica Burleson — Oct. 19, 7 p.m.

“Dancing on the Keys” by Elite 88 —Dec. 6, 7 p.m.

Gulf Coast Steinway Society Competition IV—Jan. 19, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Master Class & Recital: Dr. Natsuki Fukasawa, Steinway Artist, Orfeo Music Festival and Talis Festival & Academy; artist and faculty, American River College, Sacramento, California — master class on Jan. 21, 11 a.m.; recital on Jan. 22, 7 p.m.

Piano Department Recital: All-Steinway School Celebration, featuring music from the Baroque to Contemporary — Jan. 29, 7 p.m.

Junior Recital: Sarah Borowski — Feb. 7, 5 p.m.


Recital & Master Class: Dr. Marian Lee, professor of music and head of keyboard area, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa — recital on March 12, 7 p.m.; master class on March 13, 1:30-4 p.m.

“Carnival from France to Mobile” by Elite 88 — March 21, 7 p.m.

Senior Recital: Gabriella Loiacano — March 28, 7 p.m.

Senior Recital: Rebekah Lipscombe — March 29, 7 p.m.

Master Recital: Greg Wiggins — April 16, 7 p.m.

University of Mobile is an All-Steinway School and offers a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a master of music in piano performance as part of a broad array of performing arts degrees.

For more information about an event, contact Shadoe Valentin in the Alabama School of the Arts at or 251.442.2383.


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.


About the Author

Rivers Brunson

Rivers is an experienced writer and an alumna of University of Mobile. She graduated in 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication. She returned to University of Mobile professionally as marketing communications specialist in 2017. She also hosts a podcast with Bellum Creative Group called Due South about Southern arts and culture. A Grove Hill, Alabama native, Rivers fell in love with the city of Mobile as an undergraduate student and now calls it home; however she takes frequent trips to see her family who are NAMB church planters in Livingston, Montana. She has a lovable golden retriever named Cooper.