Local piano students forge partnership with the Univ. of Redlands
Petesa Uta , AMERICAN SAMOA — Even before they left the University of Redlands School of Music, the four local piano students from Dancing Fingers Piano Studio may not have to look elsewhere if they decide to refine their musical skills in the future. “I’m positive some are thinking of an opportunity to study at Redlands,” said Poe Mageo, owner of the music studio.
As a matter of fact, the students along with their families felt right at home at Redlands, a city in the San Bernardino County, where they spent a whole week at the Piano Camp 2013. Not only the students and their families forged a partnership with the school, they also befriended Professor Louanne Long, artist-in-residence and executive director, as well as the teaching staff and aides during the school’s sixth piano camp.
“The trip sparks the beginning of an endeared relationship with all the wonderful people at the school of music, especially Prof. Long and her husband Richard,” added Mageo.
The camp’s highlight was the Concluding Recital where students perform in an ensemble; music was given to every student on the first day, and they were expected to perform it by Friday. According to Mageo, this was the first time his students participated in an ensemble; most of the time they performed solo since they have enrolled at Dancing Fingers. Except for Fred Mamea, who performed with his peers Eugenie R. Rocherolle’s “Workin’ on the Railroad,” Maria Toma, Liana Gurr, and Vera-Wong Mageo and their peers performed selected pieces from Christopher Goldston’s Scenes of Salt Creek. The evening’s repertoire was light and upbeat; the audience was having a good time as they too snapped their fingers and clapped to Jack Fina’s “Bumble Boogie” (arr. Lucy Wide Warren).
At the end of the recital, the students presented cultural gifts and boxes of Wahoo as a token of appreciation to Prof. Long and her staff and aides. Aside from tapa hand-printed lavalavas, coconut earrings and bracelets, shell leis, the students also presented a kava bowl and a fue (fly whisk) to Prof. Long on behalf of the school of music. In return, the students received a free copy of the camp’s documentary film, “The Time of Our Lives”, which features an interview of Mageo and his students. The film was produced by the multi-media class and their instructors Richard Long and Hannah Lim.
According to Prof. Long, this was the first time-ever the school played host to a large group from outside the US continent. As a result, the school outlined activities every day for the parents and students to take part in, like a picnic at the park and a stroll in downtown for market’s day.
“This group had more people — a total of 18 — compared to the other groups that had traveled before,” added Mageo.
The malaga was led by Rev. Elder & Mrs. Fred Mamea of Ottoville’s Faitoto’a Matala Pea and Rev. & Mrs. Eteuati Toma of Leone’s Siona le Mauga Paia CCCAS. Deputy Director of Agriculture, Mr. Peter Gurr, and his wife Donna (who was the malaga’s secretary) were given much responsibility since both resided in San Bernardino before they decided to return home in the late 80s. Army Capt. Puletasi Wong-Mageo was the group’s talking chief (tulafale).
The malaga wishes to thank Bill and Rosie Laolagi and family in Torrance, CA, for Sunday’s to’ona’i; Pastor Mamea’s nephew and family who planned a BBQ for the malaga; and Mageo’s cousin Bob and Abigail Ah Sue of Moreno Valley for their support.
Finally; and to the Comfort Suites staff for allowing the malaga to utilize the restaurant for their lotu afiafi and meetings.
Finally, Mageo wishes to convey his condolences to Liza Fata-Afalava and her family for the loss of her grandmother. Fata-Afalava’s son, Jared Fruean could not attend the piano camp as he had to return home for his great-great grandmother’s funeral.
Source: media release Dancing Fingers
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