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(Bethlehem, Pa.) – In honor of Black History Month, Moravian College alumnae Honnie Spencer, M.D., ATCL, LTCL will present a piano recital at her alma mater on Sunday, February 15, at 4 p.m. in Peter Hall. Spencer will perform four pieces written by classical African-American composers. Her repertoire will include “Troubled Water” by Margaret Bonds, and “Sonata” by Florence Price, as well as, excerpts from “In the Bottoms” by Nathaniel Dett, and “Scuppernong” by John W. Work.
Spencer was born on the island of Antigua located in the East Caribbean and began classical piano training at the young age of five. While studying with Elizabeth Keoghan, an accomplished classical pianist from New Zealand, Spencer quickly made her name known. She was the youngest piano accompanist and organist at her church, and she played with the junior choir, youth choir, cherub choir, and brass band.
Under Keoghan’s tutelage, Spencer won numerous awards from the Trinity College of Music in London, including the Edinburgh Silver and Bronze Medal and several exhibition awards for classical piano performances. Because of her achievements, Spencer was invited to spend her summers studying at the Merrywood Music School in Lenox, Massachusetts.
In 1985, Spencer met Richard and Monica Shantz, who were touring with the Moravian College Concert Choir. Because of their meeting, Spencer became the recipient of an international scholarship to study at Moravian College in 1986. She became a student of Martha Schrempel and earned both a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Science Cum Laude in Biology. Throughout her years at Moravian, Spencer traveled with Schrempel to Antigua as guests of the government, performing solo and duo piano recitals for the local Independence Celebrations.
After completing her studies at Moravian, Spencer received a tuition scholarship to study medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Upon her relocation, Spencer started to study piano under Sandra Shapiro at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She also completed her Associate Degree and Licentiate Degree from the Trinity College of Music. After seven years, Spencer completed her medicinal studies and accepted a position as an attending physician with the Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency Program.
In September 2002, Spence began a piano program for indigent children and adults in the instruction of music theory and piano. Her program has grown to include 45 students. Spencer is currently studying with Dr. Paul Nitch at Queen’s University in Charlotte, N.C. She is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra and a board member for the Cabarrus Arts and Science Council. Spencer is also the alternate pianist for Grace Lutheran Church and second chair French horn for the Hickory Grove Baptist Church Orchestra and New Beginnings Moravian Church.
General admission is $12 for adults and $6 for Senior Citizens, students with I.D., and children under 12. Peter Hall is located on the Pricilla Payne Hurd Campus, Main and Church Streets in historic Bethlehem. For more information, please contact Nancy Clark, Moravian College Music Department, at 610-861-1668.