Press Release January 2017 Concert

Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association Showcases Local Student Talent in 40th Graduation Concert

By eMetro Times | on December 20, 2016

Spivey Hall to host event; Atlanta radio personality John Lemley to emcee

The Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association (AASPA), Atlanta’s leading piano organization following the principles of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, will hold its 40th Graduation Concert at 2.00 p.m. on Sunday, 15 January 2017. Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall will host the concert program, which will showcase the talents of 25 student pianists representing eight teachers’ studios. Atlanta radio personality John Lemley, AM 1690 WMLB, The Voice of the Arts, will emcee the event.

“The success of these students is not only testament to the Suzuki method of teaching, but also to their hard work,” said Brooke Chumachenko, president of AASPA. “These twenty-five young artists practice long hours every day in order to achieve the skill you will hear on the Spivey Hall stage. I am so proud to know and work with such exceptional kids.”

The primary purpose of the AASPA graduation program is to recognize the accomplishments of dedicated Suzuki students and teachers and to encourage them to continue to raise their sights and standards in a non-competitive environment. Students performing in the concert range in age from 6 to 18 years of age, and represent a wide array of schools and areas across metro Atlanta.

The Suzuki method of musical training consists of ten levels of instruction; children as young as three years of age can begin training in a program that is designed to nurture talent over many years. Students who reach level ten receive a $500 scholarship from AASPA to honor their achievement. AASPA Level Ten student Jennifer Banh, 17, will perform Piano Trio op. 100 by Franz Schubert, 2nd movement. Jennifer is a senior at Cherokee County High School and has studied with Robin Blankenship since the age of 4. Also performing in the trio will be cellist Daniel Cho, who attends Walton High School and studies with Charae Krueger, and violinist Kevin Williams, a senior education major attending Kennesaw State University who studies with Helen Kim.

The AASPA Graduation Senior Award is presented to graduating high school seniors performing in a Suzuki Graduation Concert, to recognize the commitment of continuing piano study through their senior year. This year, two students will receive Senior Awards. Hezekiah Brown, a senior home-schooled student who studies piano with Nancy Lewis, will perform Sonata K. 545, III. Rondo, Allegretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mia Park, a senior at St. Pius X High School in Atlanta who studies piano with Barbara Brown, will perform the first movement of Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Pathetique by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Atlanta radio host and news anchor John Lemley will serve as emcee for the concert for his second year. Lemley has become a fixture in the Atlanta arts community, serving as a narrator and emcee for performances and fundraisers. He is the host and producer of John Lemley’s City Café on AM 1690 WMLB, The Voice of the Arts. Lemley also serves as an anchor on News Radio 106.7 (WYAY-FM Atlanta).

Tickets for the recital are priced at $15 for adults and $7.50 for children, and are available for purchase now at Reception in the Music Education Building Atrium adjacent to Spivey Hall will follow the concert and is included in the ticket price; all attendees are welcome to attend.

The Annual Graduation Recital celebrates the accomplishments of AASPA’s graduating students; ticket sales will benefit AASPA’s mission to provide Suzuki Piano Basics education to as many teachers and students as possible through its scholarship program. AASPA provides financial support to worthy students and teachers through fee waivers to AASPA workshops and graduations; tuition assistance or travel stipends to Piano Basics workshops and ten-piano concerts; and $500 awards to Level X graduates.


The Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association (AASPA) was established to promote the principles of talent education set forth by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and implemented by Dr. Haruko Kataoka through Suzuki Piano Basics. Through these principles, AASPA seeks to promote peace in the world by developing sensitivity and sensibility in children; and broaden global understanding and friendship through the universal language of music. The organization provides the highest quality music educational opportunities for children including the Graduation Program, workshops, chamber music collaborations and special recitals, as well as teacher education and community and parent education and fellowship.