The final Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert of the year will feature professor of music Rebecca McCord in her last performance at Sweet Briar College before she retires this summer. The program, which also stars two of her students, Julia Sansone and Elizabeth McDowell, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in Memorial Chapel, and includes music by Bach, Mozart, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Anton Arensky. The concert is free and open to the public.
McCord has performed as solo recitalist, chamber musician, duo pianist and soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. Making her debut at the age of 9, McCord has made guest artist appearances with more than 30 orchestras under such prestigious conductors as Erich Leinsdorf, Sir John Barbirolli, David Effron, Guy Fraser Harrison and Max Rudolf. As a young pianist, she won more than 20 competitions and has premiered a number of works written for her.
McCord studied with Ernestine Scott and received her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University, where she was named a Presidential Scholar and the recipient of a full scholarship. During her undergraduate years, she also studied piano with Adele Marcus at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She studied with Barry Snyder and earned a master’s and doctorate in piano performance and literature, as well as the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. McCord was a Leopold Schepp Scholar and twice named Outstanding Graduate Student at the Eastman School of Music.
Since 1985, McCord has been on the music faculty of Sweet Briar College. In 1998, she was the recipient of Sweet Briar’s Faculty Fellowship and the first post-doctorate fellowship at the Eastman School of Music. McCord has twice been awarded the artist-in-residence position at La Cité des Arts in Paris. In 2012, Room 127 in Sweet Briar’s Babcock Fine Arts Center was renovated in McCord’s honor to provide an improved practice space and new performance venue.
McCord regularly serves as clinician, adjudicator and master class teacher in the U.S. and is an officer in the local chapter of the Music Teachers National Association.