News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: March 3, 2003 (03-17)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College-Rockville to Host Piano Festival in April
Performance, Master Class by World-renowned Rebecca Penneys Highlights Event  

            Montgomery College’s Department of Music, at the Rockville Campus, is sponsoring a two-night piano festival in April. The event will feature performances by Rebecca Penneys, a renowned recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist and educator; and by Montgomery College’s own Professor Jay Crowder, who performs regularly with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and recently served as associate conductor for two of the center’s 2002 Sondheim Celebration productions.

  • On Thursday, April 3, at 8 p.m., Mr. Crowder will perform works by Chopin, Gluck and Ravel, in the Music Recital Hall, in the Music Building on the Rockville Campus.

  • On Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m., Ms. Penneys will present works by Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Grieg and Mozart, during a special performance in the College’s Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center.

Admission to both performances is free and open to the public. The piano festival precedes the Montgomery College Arts Institute’s presentation of a special two-day master class in piano, taught by Ms. Penneys, on the weekend of April 5-6. The special class is made possible thanks to a grant provided to Montgomery College by the Webber Family Foundation.

Rebecca Penneys’ intelligent and insightful performances have held audiences spellbound for more than four decades. She incorporates a busy concert schedule with her guidance of international classes of students at both the Eastman School of Music, where she has taught since 1980, and at the Chautauqua Institution. She has been a resident artist and teacher at Chautauqua for 24 years, creating a program that is considered unique in the world of piano instruction.

Born in Los Angeles, Ms. Penneys made her concert debut at the age of nine and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 11. At 17, after winning many young artist competitions in the United States, she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize for her performances at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. Ms. Penneys has performed in east Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Israel, South America, and throughout the U.S. and Canada as soloist and chamber musician. The festival performance and master classes mark her debut at Montgomery College.

With its comprehensive curriculum, state-of-the-art concert hall, and distinguished music faculty, Montgomery College’s Department of Music enjoys a reputation of excellence and is a member of the prestigious National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). In 2001, the department received reaccreditation in NASM, making it the only community college music program in Maryland with this special membership designation.

The music curriculum is designed for the student planning to transfer to a college or conservatory to earn a bachelor’s in music, a bachelor’s degree in music education, or a music degree with a major in piano performance, theory-composition, or history-literature. Students also seek employment upon completion of the associate’s degree.

For more information on the Montgomery College Piano Festival, call the Music Department at 240-567-5209 or visit For disability-related accommodations, please contact Professor Jay Crowder at 240-567-7559 at least two weeks prior to the event.

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