Announcing Commencement Speaker for Spring 2015

Acclaimed composer, entrepreneurial publisher, and music alumnus to share worldly perspective.

Spring 2015 commencement ceremonies take place on Saturday, May 9, at 4 p.m. in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall.

As a musician and composer, Nancy Faber applies her talents to education in the musical arts. As an entrepreneur, and in partnership with her spouse Randall, she applies her business savvy to the world of music. As an MSU Spartan, she will share her perspective as the 2015 commencement speaker for the MSU College of Music, and will receive the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award on Sat., May 9, at 4 p.m. in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall.

“Nancy Faber has combined her knowledge of composition, performance, pedagogy, and business with an entrepreneurial spirit that has made a difference for tens of thousands of young musicians around the world,” says James Forger, dean of the College of Music. “As we seek, through our Running Start program, to broaden the skill set of students preparing for a life in the arts, we are delighted to welcome Mrs. Faber, a model of success, to share her experience and perspective.”

Recognized for award-wining compositions throughout her career, Faber received the “Distinguished Composer of the Year” award from the Music Teachers National Association. Renowned for her best-selling Piano Adventures® series, Faber is a leading resource for music educators across the world. She is also revered for her ability to compose music and comprehensive materials for piano pedagogy.

Charles Ruggiero, professor of composition and musicology, recalls Nancy Faber as an undergraduate student. “Unquestionably, she was one of the most talented and conscientious composers I had the pleasure and privilege of working with. In addition to showing real talent as a composer, Nancy demonstrated week after week that she also was quite a good pianist.”

Prior to Faber’s commencement address, students and the general public are invited to attend “A Musical Journey: The Faber Success Story.” Joined by her business partner and husband Randall, the Fabers share and discuss their love of music and the power of putting ideas in music to work. The event will be held on Fri., May 1, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., in the Cook Recital Hall of the Music Building. You can also watch this event online through the MSU College of Music’s Livestream site.

“The Faber's Piano Adventures series is an incredible resource,” says Derek Polischuk, associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy. Polischuk says its success is attributed to a method based on meticulous research of learning styles, expert compositional craftsmanship, and rock-solid pedagogical principles. “Our students are going to have the opportunity to learn first-hand from perhaps the most important living piano pedagogy expert, Nancy Faber. To say this is going to be inspirational would be an understatement.”

Nancy Faber is well known to thousands of music teachers and students as the composer of the bestselling Piano Adventures® method, published in eight languages around the world. She was named “Distinguished Composer of the Year” by the Music Teachers National Association, winning the first-prize award for her composition Tennessee Suite for Piano and String Quartet. She was the commissioned composer for MTNA’s Year of Collaborative Music and penned the winning flute quartet Voices from Between Worlds for the 1994 National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition. Her narrated composition The Snow Queen continues to delight children in school assemblies and concerts.

Farber studied at the Eastman School, Michigan State University, and Bard College. Her composition teachers include Nicholas Maw, Joan Tower, William Albright, and Michigan State’s Charles Ruggiero. Her music has been heard on network television and public radio.

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