Snead State’s Gerhart Music Festival Begins


The annual Gerhart Music Festival at Snead State Community College will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 18, and conclude on Sunday, Oct. 21, featuring performances by the Gerhart musicians and local youth musicians.

The Festival performances begin with the Gerhart Youth Concert on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. in Fielder Auditorium. The Gerhart musicians – Michael Davis, violin, Jeffrey Cohen, piano, Bion Tsang, cello, and Wayne Roden, viola – will be joined by the Boaz Intermediate School Honor Choir, under the direction of Miriam Richey. 

The closing Gerhart Concert on Sunday, Oct. 21, will feature selections performed by the Gerhart musicians, such as music by composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann. The concert will also be held in Fielder Auditorium.

Other activities to be held during this year’s Gerhart Music Festival include a performance for Snead State’s Convocation class, a performance for Corley Elementary School students, and a Master Class.

Snead State’s own Fine Arts Program Chair Dr. Barbara Hudson will also lead an Alexander Technique Seminar as part of the Gerhart Music Festival. The Alexander Technique Seminar is open to anyone, not just those with an interest in music. 

The Alexander Technique is a mind and body self-care technique that helps restore the body's upright and breathing reflexes. It is taught with verbal instruction and gentle hands-on contact to help people rediscover their natural coordination as well as alleviate pain related to misdirected physical energy and muscle misuse/overuse. People who practice Alexander Technique principles in their daily lives have experienced a reduction in blood pressure, a reduction in breathing difficulties, improvement in the functioning of the digestive system and reduced stress on the heart muscle. Anyone interested in the seminar may contact Dr. Hudson at

All concerts and activities with the Gerhart Music Festival will take place in the Administration Building on the Boaz campus and are free to participants.

Michael Davis serves as the artistic director of the Gerhart Music Festival and is a former Concertmaster for the Louisville Orchestra. A native of Albertville, Davis began studying violin at age 7, and his first music teacher was the late Russell Gerhart, a conducter for the Huntsville Symphony and for whom the music festival is named. Featured in numerous chamber music and orchestral recordings, Davis has two solo albums, Emmanuel and Amazing Grace. He has given concerts in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center and has concertized in both Europe and Asia. He has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has served on the violin faculties at the University of Louisville, Campbellsville University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family currently reside in Colorado.

Cohen is a piano professor and member of the Artist Faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he currently serves as coordinator of Piano Master Classes and Competitions. Both as a soloist and chamber musician, his performances have taken him to three different continents, and his recitals include appearances for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Bargemusic, the Phillips Collection, and Mostly Music Series of Chicago. The Tucson native currently serves on the summer faculties of the MusicAlp International Academy of Music in France, Duxbury Music Festival and the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. He has given Master Classes at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, and throughout Korea and Taiwan.

Roden became the new viola instructor at Sonoma State University and plays viola for the San Francisco Symphony. The Auburn native began studying the viola at the age of 8. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied violin, viola, and chamber music with members of the Claremont Quartet. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in 1970, he joined the Strolling Strings of the United States Army Band, playing frequently at the White House. He was a soloist with the U.S. Army Chamber Orchestra at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. Roden has played chamber music festivals in Telluride, Colo., and the Laurel Festival in Pennsylvania.

Tsang resides in Texas, where he is on the faculty at the UT Butler School of Music. His chamber music career is a distinguished one, marked by collaborations with such artists as violinists Pamela Frank, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Gary Karr and pianist Leon Fleisher. He has been a frequent guest artist of organizations including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Brooklyn Chamber Music Socity, and the Chamber Music International of Dallas. He has toured with pianist Anton Nel in such venues as Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston.

The community is invited to attend any of the Gerhart Music Festival concerts or the Alexander Technique Seminar. For more information, visit 

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