Jacob Clark and Sujung Cho.

Jacob Clark and Sujung Cho.

The Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music will present a piano concert, Sept. 16, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Rothwell Recital Hall in the Simmons Music Building. The concert will feature a duet with Jacob Clark, new Lamar assistant professor of piano, and his wife, Sujung Cho. Admission is free.

“I’m new here, so I want to kind of advertise the fact that I’m here and that I’m ready to really get things going with the piano program,” Clark said. “It’s not large yet, but I want to make people in the area aware that there’s a new pianist in town who is looking to build up the piano program. One of the ways to do that is by throwing a big concert, so people can see.”

Clark and Cho will perform in a one piano, four hands setting.

“It’s just one piano, but two people playing on the same piano at the same time,” Clark said, “That’s the entire format of the concert. It’s going to be us playing together on one piano. We’re kind of specialists in that. That’s what we do our research in, and we do a lot of our performing in that. I do solo piano, too, of course, but that is kind of my favorite way, the four hands format.”

Clark said the format requires each performer to get into their partner’s head.

“You mostly have to really listen carefully, because a lot of it is anticipating what your partner is going to do,” he said. “If you’re somebody who is just solo minded and you’re not really paying attention, it’s never going to work. You have to match everything that your partner does and you have to listen for balance — that you’re not overwhelming them. Everything has to sound like one person is doing it.”

The duo, called Duo Korusa, are dedicated to playing lesser-known works, as well as new works.

“I’m hoping to have a nice, big audience and that people hear something that they have never heard before,” Clark said.

A Houston native, Clark moved from South Carolina State University to Lamar to get into a larger music program that offered a performance degree, he said.

“My previous institution didn’t have the performance degree, so I wanted to work somewhere where there was the opportunity to work with stronger and more serious music students,” he said. “Plus, we have a graduate program for music here. I was really excited when I saw they had a graduate program in music performance.”

Clark said he self-taught himself to play the piano at age five and began taking professional lessons at age 10.

“I was kind of a precocious reader and when I was five, I dug out my parents old music books,” he said. “My mom played a little bit and I found all of her old piano books from the ’60s. I already knew how to read, so I started teaching myself how to play. I taught myself for about five years. I was starting to get pretty good and my parents were like, ‘Maybe he should have some lessons.’ So, it went on from there.”

Clark said that he is looking to build up the program and have a studio of about 10 piano majors.

“I’m also hoping to start an accompanying program where the piano majors can go out and collaborate with the other music majors,” he said. “We have a need for piano accompaniment for our vocalists and for other instrumentalists. I’m hoping when I can develop a large enough studio of piano majors, I can get them to start assisting other students. I’m hoping to get a thriving graduate program, too. We do offer the degree, but I don’t have many students doing it just yet.”

For more information, call 880-8144 or visit lamar.edu/music.


Kristen Stuck

UP Managing Editor


Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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