From McCray to Carnegie Hall
<h2> Michael Bauer | reporter </h2>
Carnegie Hall is the ultimate dream for any master of music, and two Pittsburg State faculty members are living it.
Patrick Howle, instructor of music, and Reena Natenberg, associate professor of music, performed at New York City’s famed concert center on Jan. 22. Howle sang a solo with Natenberg on the piano.
“It was an awesome experience,” Natenberg said. “It’s a stunningly beautiful place. Probably the best concert hall in the world.”
Howle and Natenberg played several pieces by French composer Francois Poulenc. These renditions are featured on their recent album, sponsored by the Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“It was released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of (Poulenc’s) death,” Natenberg said.
She has taught at the university since 2000, and today focuses on piano instruction as well as chamber music. Howle has taught vocal music since 2005.
The two are no strangers to performing in concert halls around the globe. Natenberg has performed throughout Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. She has also played in Paraguay and throughout the U.S. Howle’s career is focused domestically.
To play at places such as Carnegie Hall requires tremendous skills and nearly a lifetime of performing. Howle and Natenberg were invited after submitting a CD of their album to Mid-America Productions, a company founded in 1983 that organized the events at Carnegie.
Natenberg is a pianist, but she has experimented with a variety of other instruments.
“I tried guitar several years ago. I also had to take voice lessons as a secondary in my early years of college,” Natenberg said. However, she says she enjoys piano the most.
Howle may be mostly involved in voice lessons, but he also works with the piano as a teaching tool.
“I would not consider myself a pianist,” he said.
Natenberg performs during the semester, but she tries to plan her away concerts during the summer in an effort to not inconvenience her students.
“One has to really plan accordingly and when one is away to make sure the students are taken care of and make our schedules accordingly,” Natenberg said.
Natenberg and Howle are now searching for their next performance destination, though it will be a smaller-scale event than Carnegie and probably more local.
“We are always looking for places,” Howle said. “We’re looking at Kansas City and other places closer to the university.”