Tsai Feng – Piano
Tsai Feng, is an active pianist and award-winning piano teacher. She is very proud of receiving her Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the world-renowned St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia. Her students have won many national and international auditions and competitions. In 2013, Tsai Feng and Xu Duo moved to Spokane Washington. Since then, their students have become top prize winners in all competitions in the Spokane area, such as Musicfest, Solo and Ensemble Competition, Spokane Youth Symphony Concerto Competition and Spokane Symphony Young Artist Violin Competition. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).
Margaret Francik – Piano
Margaret Francik is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in composition under Jonathan Middleton, and studied piano with Kendall Feeney. She has been an accompanist for the Freeman and Wilbur School District Choirs, as well as for North Hill Christian Church and Manito Presbyterian Church, where she has also served as substitute choir director. Her original compositions have been premiered with several groups in the area, including the Evnika Trio and Vytal Movement Dance Company. As a teacher, Margaret focuses on encouraging her students to have a foundation in music theory, fluency in reading sheet music as well as chord charts, and learning standard repertoire alongside modern music that they may enjoy. She is able to work with beginners as well as advanced pupils, and focuses on helping her students achieve their specific musical goals. She is a firm believer that anyone can learn to play the piano, whatever their age or experience.
Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fort Wright College. Master of Music from University of Southern California. Performances with Spokane Symphony Chorale. Past Chair of Holy Names Academy Music Department.
Betsy Keno Pletscher – Piano, Dalcroze Eurhythmics
Along with music degrees from Whitworth University, The University of Illinois, and Longy School of Music, Betsy brings a lifetime of experiences in teaching piano lessons and music classes with all ages, and has enjoyed a variety of opportunities working with students from many age groups and musical backgrounds. She offers individual piano lessons as well as musical small-group classes for all ages. For twelve years, she was a teacher of piano teachers and also instructor of Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the University of Saint Thomas, and for nearly twenty years, a faculty member at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music in Saint Paul, MN. These experiences have allowed her to develop a lively yet artistic approach which involves the “whole person” in music making which includes singing, improvising, and whole body movement, exploring music fundamentals while learning pieces from our great heritage of piano repertoire.
Greg Presley – Piano
Studied with Margaret Ott in Spokane. Bachelor of Arts with special honors in music from Yale University. Master’s of Music from Juilliard; studied with Josef Raieff.
Winner of William Petschek Scholarship and competitive piano minor teaching fellowship. Experience with Martha Graham Company in New York. Premiered multiple works written for dance, invited to showcase Robert Muczynski’s work at Music Teachers’ National Convention of 1990, and revived 20th Century music for modern dance. Taught at Florida State University.
Featured soloist with Spokane Symphony, Washington-Idaho Symphony, and Yale Symphony. Winner of Young Artist Award of Spokane Allied Arts Festival (now Musicfest), State and Northwest divisions of the Music Teachers’ National Association High School Piano Competition and numerous local awards. Composer, soloist and accompanist with Spokane Opera, and faculty member at Gonzaga University.
Linda Siverts – Piano
Bachelor’s Degree from Whitworth College; studied with Margaret Ott. Teaching experience: Whitworth, Gonzaga University, and summer institute at University of Southern Oregon 2000-2002 where performed with Heifitz protégé, violinist Sherry Kloss. Principal keyboardist of Spokane Symphony from 1984 until her retirement in 2008. Featured soloist with Connoisseur Concerts, Northwest Bach Festival, Spokane Symphony, Cathedral and the Arts, other area orchestras, and Spokane Public Radio. Speaker at the Washington State Music Teacher’s Associations State convention. Winner of Individual Artist of the Year of Spokane City Arts Commission in 1998. Recorded 2 CD’s. Adjudicates locally and across the state. Co-founder and director of Honors Chamber Music Program and Chamber Music Week at Holy Names Music Center.
Mina Somekawa – Piano
“A pianist of ‘class,'” as one critic describes her. “It is playing that is, first and foremost, musically interesting, immediately holding one’s attention and continuing to reach out to hold that attention…. interpretively engaging.… She is an intelligent and warm pianist, exceptionally proficient technically.” Her recitals have also been noted for possessing “a broad repertoire,” “a fine sensitivity to musical expression,” and “stylistic understanding.” She is known for her “thoughtful,” “memorable” performance.
As a Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert artist, she had her Chicago recital live broadcast across the country via WFMT Radio Network. Recipient of the Artist Presentation Society Award, she appeared as recitalist in many cities in US. She has performed with numerous symphony conductors, and was featured as soloist in Brahms’ First Piano Concerto at the summer music festival in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Her recent recital featured J. S. Bach’s complete Inventions & Sinfonias and Schumann’s Kreisleriana.
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received a University Fellowship, she majored in piano performance for the programs: BM, MM, and DMA. She taught piano performance at Millsaps College (Jackson, MS) as Visiting Assistant Professor, at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Twin Lake, MI), and at the University of Illinois as teaching assistant; and adjudicated auditions and competitions in Illinois, Mississippi, and Washington State. She is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Education.
Her many-faceted musical activities includes harpsichord, on which she has performed Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto and recorded 20th century repertoire by Bartók and Ned Rorem.