Lee W. Kikuchi (Founder & Director) graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 1991 (Majors in Music Composition and Computer Science). His studies included theory & composition, private piano instruction with Julian Martin & Mary Dannenberg, private voice instruction with Theresa Williams & Richard Miller, conducting with Daniel Moe and several courses in musicology beyond the minimum for the major. Prior to attending Oberlin, Mr. Kikuchi studied piano with Hannah Li and Mineko Avery; studied cello with Robert Sametini and Allen Sher; and studied violin with Frances Ortenberg.
Current Performance and Professional Activities: Mr. Kikuchi currently performs regularly with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (1982, 1991-92, & 1999-present), teaches for the Lisa Rae Music Studios (October 2003-present), teaches strings and composition for the Alle-Kiske Music Day Camp (June 2006-present), teaches at The Kiski School-Saltsburg (October 2007-present), accompanies professional singers at auditions and serves as Chairman of the Student Composition Competition (2004-present) and Editor of the Yearbook for the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association (PPTA) (2004-present). Mr. Kikuchi has served as Judge for the PPTA Junio Solo Piano Competition (2008), PPTA Duet Piano Competition (2006, 2007 and 2008), PPTA Elementary Solo Piano Competition (2007) and PPTA Piano Evaluations (2006-present). Mr. Kikuchi is also an active member of Tuesday Musical Club and Pennsylvania Music Teachers Assocation.
Honors and Awards: Recent honors include having a student win First Prize in the 2008 PPTA Senior Solo Piano Competition, having a student win Second Prize in the 2008 Aiken-Cadman Solo Piano Competition, winning First Prize (Elementary Division) and Second Prize (Advanced Division) in the 2007-08 PPTA Teachers Composition Competition, having a student win First Prize at the Elementary Division of the 2005-06 PPTA Student Composition Competition, winning Second Prize (Advanced Division) at the 2004-05 PPTA Teachers Composition Competition and having a student earn Honorable Mention at the 2003-04 PPTA Primary Solo Piano Competition.
Lectures: Mr. Kikuchi is invited to present a lecture on "Teaching Theory to Non-Piano Students" for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Assocation in Spring 2009 and presented a lecture on "Memorizing Conceptually" to the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association in October 2006.
Publications: Mr. Kikuchi's Recent publications include:
All of Mr. Kikuchi's publications can be VIEWED AND/OR PURCHASE FROM THIS WEBSITE.
Mr. Kikuchi has had compositions performed by the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra (1991) and the Midwest Composers Symposium (Chicago, 1989).
Mr. Kikuchi has served as church organist for Mary S. Brown Church (Pittsburgh, 1979-1982), for Ames Methodist Church (Pittsburgh, 1978-1982), and for Huron Valley Community Church (Ann Arbor, 1986-88).
Mr. Kikuchi has served as tenor soloist for Mary S. Brown Church (Pittsburgh, 1978), for First Presbyterian Church (Ann Arbor, 1985) and Third Presbyterian Church, (McKeesport, 1992).
Mr. Kikuchi served as Music Director for Princess Ida by Gilbert and Sullivan (Oberlin College, 1991).
Between the years 1981 and 1993 Mr. Kikuchi sang tenor in the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Univ. of Michigan Choral Union and Renaissance City Choir of Pittsburgh.
In 1988, Mr. Kikuchi gave a special “Farewell Recital” in Ann Arbor, where he performed final movements from three sonatas by Beethoven, Chopin’s Ballade in A-flat and Liszt’s La Campanella Etude.
While at Oberlin (1982-84 and 1988-91) Mr. Kikuchi accompanied numerous vocalists and instrumentalists for studio classes and recitals, including three Junior Recitals and one Senior Recital, and he regularly performed on the piano for student recitals and composition recitals. During the same period he played cello in the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra and sang tenor in the Oberlin College Choir (including 3 concert tours), Oberlin Opera Chorus, and Oberlin G&S Players.
While at Allderdice High School (1978-82), Mr. Kikuchi was rehearsal and pit band pianist for four Senior Class Plays (Bye Bye Birdie, Carrousel, Oklahoma and Pajama Game). He sang the off stage tenor solo for Pajama Game, he sang in the Allderdice Concert Choir and played principal cello in the Allderdice Concert Orchestra all four years. He also performed in several non-musical student theater productions and two talent shows.
From the years 1976 to 1982 he played cello for the All-City Junior and Senior Orchestras, and was principal cellist from 1978 to 1982.
Teaching Activities: Mr. Kikuchi is qualified to teach piano, composition, voice, cello, violin, theory and music history; and currently maintains a weekly teaching schedule of 45-50 students considering KMI, Lisa Rae Music Studios and The Kiski School combined.
Essays by Mr. Kikuchi:
"What is a Music Education?" (September 1, 2003)
"How to Learn to Play Music Perfectly" (November 1, 2003)
"The Myth of Over Practicing" (February 9, 2004)
"Care of Bound Publications" (April 15, 2004)
"But is it soaring?" (May 26, 2008)
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