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Music in the Pylons

We at the Health Sciences Center were delighted to receive a baby grand piano this fall from White Foundation for use by students, faculty and visitors in the Pylons Lobby. It was purchased via the kind support of a WVU alumnus, J.R. Rogers, and the College of Creative Arts.

Dean Paul Kreider of Creative Arts and Dr. Keith Jackson and Dr. Lucy Mauro of the music program made this vision come to life.

We put it to use immediately with a lunchtime recital. It was amazing!

We had a variety of talented musicians perform in this program.

Dr. Mauro was our host. She introduced the concept that every performance should have an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert.

We started with Dr. Erin Ellis on cello. She played a beautiful sonata with Lucy on the piano. Watching Erin be purely in the moment as she played was compelling.

We have learned to stay in the moment through our culture training, but Erin took that to a new level for me.

Next, Dr. Ching-Wen Hsiao performed a solo on the piano playing “fireworks”. The song was enchanting. We could visualize the colors and varying sounds as the fireworks lit up the room. Ching-Wen is a very talented professional.

Next Dr. Mikylah McTeer performed a selection that included the early roots of jazz with Lucy on the piano. Mikylah peformed flawlessly and the combination of plucking the violin strings with playing beautifully made for a great performance.

For the desert selection, Dr. Robert Chafin, a gifted tenor, sang three songs. His voice soared through the Pylons area. He’s a theatrical singer who connected directly with several people in the audience.  Robert spotted Marcia DeMarco, who leads our Quality of Life Initiative at the Health Sciences Center, and worked hard to get the piano installed. He wanted to make Marcia smile, and he serenaded her until she did.

The performance was so intimate, and the performers lit up the Pylons area.

We intentionally did not separate the performance from other activities. People came and went through the area, ate lunch, and talked with one another just a few yards from the piano. The music provided an additional touch of inspiration, creativity and beauty for the professionals and students at the HSC that care for others.

Our talented health sciences students are already using the piano. One of them recently debuted a song she wrote there; she'll be at our next lunchtime recital in October: