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Washington Voices

Students share talents in benefit piano recital

Thu., March 22, 2012, midnight

Admission will be donations for Second Harvest

If the early afternoon commuters blasting by on Five Mile Road could hear the music being played inside Naomi Wilson’s little Victorian house, they’d surely stop to listen.

Wilson is a piano teacher, and Friday three of her students are performing a recital to benefit Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest at Steinway Piano Gallery in Spokane Valley.

The benefit was Wilson’s idea, but the students embraced it.

Justin Heftel, a junior at St. George’s School, Garrison Colvin, who is home-schooled and in the Running Start program at Spokane Falls Community College, and Peter Fullmer, who attends Mt. Spokane High School, all study piano with Wilson.

Heftel said he comes from a very musical family and began taking piano lessons in kindergarten.

“I took a break from piano but missed it so much I had to get back to it,” Heftel said.

Like his friends and co-performers he has no dreams of becoming a musician.

“I also really enjoy math and science, so I want to study chemical engineering,” he said.

Colvin, who began studying with Wilson five years ago, also has engineering dreams.

“My siblings are very much into music and I like it too,” he said, “but I want to study biomedical engineering.”

Fullmer began playing piano when he was 5 or 6.

“What I remember most from the very beginning is not liking it. I was stubborn. I didn’t want to practice,” he said, laughing. “But I grew into it. I really enjoy playing.”

Like his two friends, Fullmer has science dreams: He would like to study orthodontics or engineering.

So is there something about musicality, science and mathematics being closely connected?

“After having taught as many years as I have, I’d say there most certainly is,” said Wilson, smiling.

Colvin, Fullmer and Heftel will perform Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” from the opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan,” as well as pieces by Frederic Chopin, Gioachino Rossini and Ernesto Lecuona. One piece is arranged for three pianos and another for two, adding difficulty as they usually rehearse on one piano and a keyboard.

The three young musicians have promoted their event on Facebook, at school and at church, and they’ve put up fliers.

They are excited about performing, and just a little bit nervous.

During rehearsals they give each other feedback and constructive criticism, but there’s no doubt as to whom their toughest critic is:

“We are our own harshest critics,” said Colvin, “that never fails.”

Fullmer and Heftle smiled and nodded in agreement.

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