Celebrated Jazz Harpist Park Stickney gives performance at CCM on February 28
Stickney joins CCM Saxophone Professor James Bunte and Jazz Bass student Teddy Mechley in concert
Story by CCM Graduate Assistant Lucy Evans
UC College-Conservatory of Music hosts jazz harpist Park Stickney for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. Celebrated internationally for his innovative playing, Stickney is joined by CCM Professor of Saxophone James Bunte and CCM Jazz Bass student Teddy Mechley. The concert, which is Stickney’s Cincinnati debut, is free and open to the public.
The performance is co-sponsored by the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Harp Society, CCMpower and Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) through the Mayerson Foundation.
Splitting his time between Brooklyn and a farm in Switzerland, Stickney frequently travels for concerts throughout Europe and the U.S.—both as a soloist and with his various projects and ensembles. Never one to shy away from non-traditional performance venues, he has given concerts in a mine in South Tyrol, a thermal bath in Switzerland and even at a New York McDonalds— though he also has performed in the harp section of the Berlin Philharmonic.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Stickney also received his PhD from Trinity Laban Conservatory in London, where his studies focused on extreme harp pedaling. He currently holds teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon and the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne, Switzerland. He also frequently appears as a teacher and performer at the world’s premiere harp festivals.
“The concert will be a mix of my own compositions and jazz standards,” says Stickney of the February 28 performance. “I’m especially excited about revisiting my own pieces through this instrumentation. I often play them solo, but playing them in trio allows me to hear them completely differently, adds another dimension — and this in addition to the excitement of playing with Cincinnati jazz artists.”
By bringing in artists such as Park Stickney who play different genres of music, students will see that there are innumerable ways to contribute to society as musicians.
Gillian Sella, CCM Harp Faculty
The trio is rounded out by faculty artist James Bunte, Professor of Saxophone and Division Head of Performance Studies at CCM, and student jazz bassist Teddy Mechley. Bunte, who is the regular saxophonist with the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops, is also an experienced jazz musician — having appeared with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Ray Charles, Manhattan Transfer, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and more.
For CCM Harp students, the concert presents a unique opportunity. “CCM Harp students usually come here with goals of being professional harpists in symphony orchestras or harp teachers,” says Gillian Sella, CCM Harp faculty member. “By bringing in artists such as Park Stickney who play different genres of music, students will see that there are innumerable ways to contribute to society as musicians.”
Like CCM students, Stickney is a classically-trained harpist — though his curiosity has led him to a breadth of performance experiences few can boast. He “has performed Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic and he is one of the few harpists who can actually improvise at the harp in a jazz combo,” remarks Sella. With Stickney’s visit, “students will see that having a solid technical base allows them to make music in so many ways.”
“This concert is a once-in-a-lifetime event to see how a master harp player can take the harp into the jazz realm,” continues Sella. Whether you’re a harp-enthusiast, jazz lover, or just someone looking to hear interesting music, don’t miss the chance to hear Park Stickney and two CCM artists at work.
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Directions and Parking
CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. For detailed driving directions, visit ccm.uc.edu/directions.
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CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications
Lucy Evans is an artist diploma student studying Opera-Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.
Featured image at the top: Park Stickney. Photo provided.