WSU’s Berthiaume Plans Memorial Concert for Sept. 11 Tragedy

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University music faculty member Gerald Berthiaume will perform a solo piano program Oct. 16 in memory of the Sept. 11 tragedy. The 8 p.m. program is planned for Kimbrough Concert Hall and is open to the public without charge.

Berthiaume said he will open the program with Beethoven’s powerful Sonata Pathetique. The concert continues with Liszt’s Funerailles and the Bach/Busoni Chorale Prelude “I Call on Thee Lord.” The WSU pianist said the Liszt piece possesses a range of emotions – from the opening march to quiet reflection, then to an intense scene of battle, followed by anger and then resignation. The first half concludes with Chopin’s tender Prelude in A major and the “Military Polonaise.”

The second section of the program features compositions by several New York City composers. It opens with George Gershwin’s “Three Preludes.” Following is a set of six works by Robert Starer, Vincent Persichetti and Edward MacDowell. Next are works by Charles Ives, “The Alcotts” from the Concord Sonata and “The Wall Street Ray” by Scott Joplin.

Berthiaume’s program concludes with “Union” Paraphrase de Concert on National Airs by New Orleans composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The work, which features the “Star Spangled Banner,” “Hail Columbia” and “Yankee Doodle,” was performed extensively by Gottschalk during the Civil War for soldiers and civilians alike, and included a performance for President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Berthiaume has performed as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. In 1993, he won the United States Information Agency Artistic Ambassador competition at Stanford University where he competed among 88 pianists. As a result, Berthiaume toured the Middle East presenting concerts at U.S. embassies and consulates, as well as for international schools and television.

He has been invited to perform for national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, for the College Music Society, the Music Educators National Conference and the Percussive Arts Society. Berthiaume has completed 13 compact disc recordings of solo and chamber music performances. He serves as music program coordinator and keyboard area coordinator at WSU.

The same program will be performed at 2 p.m. Oct. 14, in Longview’s Center for the Performing Arts Center.