The College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University has established a partnership with the Pittsburgh Symphony that will include visits to the Creative Arts Center by Pittsburgh Symphony musicians to present master classes and performances.

WVU Provost Gerald E. Lang and Gideon Toeplitz, executive vice president and managing director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, announced the partnership when the College of Creative Arts joined the Pittsburgh Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association forWVU Night at the Pittsburgh Symphony,March 22.

This is a very exciting development for our College,said Dean Bernie Schultz of the College of Creative Arts.The Pittsburgh Symphony is among the top orchestras in the world, so this liaison will produce many benefits for our students.

Under the partnership agreement, as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony Visiting Artist Series, WVU students will continue to attend Orchestra concerts and also will participate in backstage tours of Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall, beginning in the spring of 2003.

Once each semester, a Pittsburgh Symphony musician will present a master class for the Division of Music that will include a musical performance.

Schultz said that since the master classes and performances will be free and open to the public they will not only be of tremendous educational benefit to WVU students, but will also serve as unique community events for fans of classical music in the Morgantown area.

The March 22 performance also included a tribute to Bob Hamrick, a WVU music alumnus, who received a bachelors degree in music in 1968 and a masters degree in 1970. Hamrick is currently a trombonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He will be the guest speaker at the College of Creative Arts 2002 graduation convocation, Sunday, May 19.

Several WVU music faculty members also have performed with the Symphony, including hornist Virginia Thompson, pianist James Miltenberger, baritone Peter Lightfoot, double bassist Andrew Kohn, and tuba and euphonium player David McCollum. Trumpet professor John Winkler toured Europe with the Orchestra during the summer of 2000 and has performed with the Symphony on several concert series and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. His son, Chad Winkler, a 2000 WVU music graduate, also has performed with the Orchestra, as has music doctoral candidate and cellist Luis Miguel Rojas.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Symphony partnership, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4841, Ext. 3109.