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My Teacher: Rebecca Shoup Willhide

Serenade" for piano solo is a new NFMC 2020-2024 selection. It is dedicated to my teacher, Rebecca Shoup Willhide, who I studied with through my young years in the preparatory department at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Rebecca Willhide was the assistant to Olga Conus, the wife of Lev Conus who studied together with Sergei Rachmaninoff in Anton Arensky's advanced composition class at the Moscow Conservatory.

Rebecca Willhide was a brilliant music theorist and an ear-training specialist at CCM and her early training taught me structure and form in music in a very universal way at such a young and inquisitive age. As with so many relationships in life, I was guided to the one person at just the right time that would change my life in ways I could have never imagined.

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Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Rebecca Willhide! I studied with her for several years when my frequently moving military family landed in Dayton, Ohio for a few years in mid-1970s. My best friend, Anne Olsen Bauman also studied with her. Her studio was near our homes in Beavercreek, a Dayton suburb. This period coincided with the Xenia tornado in 1974. As a continuing piano student even now, I’ve often wondered about Mrs Willhide. Students are often callously indifferent to their teacher’s credentials and background! Love learning she was a brilliant music theorist and associated with the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where one of my friends currently studies under Pompa-Baldi.

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