On Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m., the Office of the President presents From Mozart to Monk, a piano concert featuring performances by Geo Cooper, Reginald Robinson, and Theodis Rodgers, Jr. The concert, consisting of three musical segments of approximately 20 minute each, will take the audience on an exciting musical journey – from classical, to ragtime, to jazz. Jeff Silberschlag, St. Mary’s College professor of music, will moderate the event. Taking place in the Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall on the St. Mary’s College campus, the event is free of charge and open to the public. Reservations are required by visitingwww.smcm.edu/mozart-to-monk.
George “Geo” Cooper, Jr. is a world-class pianist and composer. Throughout his distinguished career, Cooper has toured and performed with recording artists such as Midnight Star, S.O.S. Band, Little Richard, The Isley Brothers, Peabo Bryson, Natalie Cole, and Chaka Kahn. He has toured around the world in such places as Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan; Singapore; Milan, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Cannes, France. Cooper continues to teach, perform, and compose music, and currently leads the music department at Chicago’s Marshall Metro High School. In 2009, Cooper formed a music school on the city’s West Side: The Ella Sheppard School of Music. The school has offered courses in classical piano since its opening. Cooper is also head of the music ministry at the Congregational Church of Park Manor.
Twenty-five years after Reginald Robinson’s emergence as a young, self-taught pianist and composer, he has become an internationally recognized pianist, recording artist, and educator. In 1992, he was introduced by fellow musicians to pianist Jon Weber who immediately funded Robinson’s first demo entitled “The Strongman.” Robinson scored original music for the plays, “Each One As She May” (nominated for best original music at the Joseph Jefferson Awards) and “Intimate Apparel” (nominated for best music director at the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Theatre Awards), as well as the independent film “Compensation.” Recently, he was commissioned to compose the first-ever piano ragtime work especially for the left hand, and also received the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Award for his innovation in ragtime.
Jazz keyboardist Theodis Rodgers, Jr. combines an unmatched passion for music with his natural talent in pursuing his dream of being one of the most influential jazz keyboardists of our time. From a young age, Rodgers has found great joy and satisfaction by being involved in the creative music process.