Two well-known Houghton musicians will bring an eclectic blend of classical, jazz and contemporary Christian compositions to their Artist Series concert on Friday, February 22, at 8:00 p.m. in Wesley Chapel. The concert is open to the public; advance sale tickets are $7 for youth and $16 for adults.
Acclaim Duo is composed of Dr. William John Newbrough and Dr. Armenio Suzano. Classical pianist and composer Newbrough is professor of piano, director of piano studies and Csehy Summer School of Music piano faculty member. Suzano is dean and director of the Greatbatch School of Music and will be playing clarinet and saxophone at this concert. Acclaim Duo formed as a result of “two musicians who share professional admiration and a high regard for each other as colleagues,” said Suzano.
In 2014, Newbrough was awarded the Horne Blanchard Endowed Chair of Music at Houghton, and, in 2012, he became the Mabel Barnum Davidson Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts. He has won many international and national piano competitions and performed in countless solo, chamber music and concerto venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea and Australia. Newbrough has performed in Carnegie Hall; the Sydney Opera House; the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.; and the Chopin Foundation in San Francisco.
He performs his own hymn arrangements in churches, colleges, and for charity and benefit concerts. He has three sacred piano CDs on the Mark Customs Recording label as well as a full-length production DVD, Benediction. Newbrough holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree, artist diploma and doctorate from Peabody Conservatory of Music/Johns Hopkins University.
Suzano was born in Brazil and, at the age of 16, won a competition to become the youngest member ever of the renowned Rio de Janeiro Opera House Symphony Orchestra, where he served as assistant principal clarinetist for nine years. He has performed with the Northwestern University and University of Michigan Symphony orchestras, the South Bend (Ill.) Symphony, and Kalamazoo (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, where he was selected as Outstanding Music Graduate and received the President’s Award; a master’s degree from Northwestern University; and a doctorate from the University of Michigan, where he won the concerto competition.
“The name Acclaim comes from two Biblical references—Psalms 89 and 145—where we are instructed to ‘acclaim’ our God for who He is,” said Suzano. “We are reminded of our responsibility to pass on to other generations the eternal beauties and magnificence of God’s mighty works. That’s what we believe we are doing with our music performances.” Newbrough and Suzano have been performing together for five years but just picked their name last year.