School of Music faculty members to debut hymn arrangements

Faculty members Lisa Bontrager, horn, and Timothy Shafer, piano, will be joined by guests Grace Shafer Salyards, horn, and Sarah Shafer, soprano, for a recital of well-known and newly arranged American hymn tunes at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the University Baptist and Brethren Church, at 411 S. Burrowes in State College. Arrangers of the hymn tunes include North American composers Paul S. Jones, Jeremy Strong, Brooke Hopkins, James Naigus, Paul Basler and Marc Guy. Admission is free.

The artists will produce a CD of the new arrangements, and have scheduled recording sessions at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY in mid-May. They anticipate the release of the CD by late summer 2018.

Lisa Bontrager

Bontrager has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Central America and Japan, including tours with the Millennium Brass Quintet and "MirrorImage," a horn duo with Michelle Stebleton, as well as the Pennsylvania Quintet.  Bontrager served as featured artist at the Southeast Horn Workshop, the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, the Western United States Horn Symposium (Las Vegas, Nevada), the Western Illinois Horn Workshop, Oficinate Musica De Curitiba (Brazil), and has been a concerto soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay, among others and contributing artist at many festivals.

Recognized for her teaching, Bontrager has presented masterclasses throughout the world, teaching in Greece, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Germany and Japan, among others. She is a distinguished professor of music at Penn State where she received the 2008 Faculty Scholar Medal for the Arts and Humanities. For six summers, she taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp. She serves as principal horn of the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, the Altoona Symphony, Penn's Woods Music Festival, as tenor hornist of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and has performed with the Baltimore, Chautauqua, and Harrisburg and Binghamton symphonies. 

Bontrager served as an elected member of the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society for many years. She can be heard on nearly 20 recordings, including her solo CD, “Hunter’s Moon,” released on the Summit label. She holds performance degrees from the University of Michigan where she studied with Louis Stout. Please see Lisa Bontrager's Penn State faculty profile for a complete listing of her CDs.

Timothy Shafer

Shafer has concertized extensively throughout the U.S., performing, teaching, and discussing the rich heritage of piano repertoire. He is the recipient of Oberlin Conservatory’s “Rudolf Serkin Outstanding Pianist Award,” Indiana University School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition, and the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association “Teacher of the Year” award.

Shafer has appeared both as a soloist and a chamber musician in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, maintains an active solo recital and chamber music schedule in the U.S., and is a frequent soloist with regional orchestras, having appeared in more than 40 concerto performances in his career. As a member of Duo Concertant with violinist James Lyon he has recorded “Outstanding in Our Field,” a CD featuring works for piano and violin by Strauss, Debussy and Stravinsky. He appears frequently in recital with his daughter, soprano Sarah Shafer.

As professor of piano at Penn State, he has concertized, taught and adjudicated in South America and Asia. He is also well-known as a frequent masterclass clinician and competition adjudicator throughout the country for professional music organizations and colleges.

Shafer is the co-author of "Class Piano for Adult Beginners," published by Prentice-Hall, and his articles on piano teaching and repertoire have appeared in the "Piano Pedagogy Forum," the "American Music Teacher," and in both volumes of "The Pianist’s Craft." Shafer served for many years as the national chair of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy's Student Committee. He has mostly recently completed a decade of service as the senior music consultant for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in its publication of the new Trinity Psalter-Hymnal; the volume was just released for publication in May of 2018. Shafer earned degrees in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Last Updated May 07, 2018