Two exceptional UNO music majors performed at John’s Hopkins University for the Peabody Piano Week.
Sophomores Marissa Mathia and Yimeng Xu were given the opportunity to perform at the Peabody Institute, the prestigious music division of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which specializes in music and dance.
There has only been one UNO student before who has been given the opportunity to perform at the institute.
Mathia began playing piano when she was three years old after seeing her mother teach her older brother how to play. She has loved it ever since.
“The best part is being able to tell stories and share emotions in a way that is sometimes more powerful than with words,” Mathia said. “People all perceive the music differently, so the individual experience is what that person relates to in the moment, rather than what they would gather from a story with words, since that is more of a set in stone experience.”
Mathia and Xu performed Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor D. 940, which they had been collaborating on for over a semester to perfect.
“I have loved having such a wonderful friend and person to create music with,” Mathia said. “It becomes a slightly less stressful event having someone you trust up there with you.”
Mathia and Xu study Applied Piano with Dr. Washington Garcia and collaborative piano with Professor Stacie Haneline. Both students have also taken on extensive collaborative work in chamber music, opera, concert band, choral band, vocalists and instrumentalists. Garcia was there both to support and perform a set of his own. Garcia and Haneline work closely with Mathia and Xu and help coach their performances.
“They both are completely committed, passionate and dedicated to becoming the best musicians possible,” Haneline said. “And they are not afraid to take chances. Both students have accomplished an immense amount of repertoire that is extraordinarily diverse. It is hard to find students who are so willing and flexible, that don’t shy away from any and all opportunities.”