Dr. Ching-Ming Cheng’s piano recital is the key to euphoria


Graphic courtesy of CSUSM Arts & Lectures

Dr. Ching-Ming Cheng is also set to perform at the Museum of Making Music

Cassidy Lovell, A&E Editor

Dr. Ching-Ming Cheng, associate professor and CSUSM’s current department chair for music was joined by Janet Kao, her longtime friend and faculty pianist at Chapman University, for a two-piano concert. The concert, which took place on Feb. 18 from 7-9 p.m., was the first Arts & Lectures event of the spring semester.

Available in a hybrid format, attendees could arrive in person at Arts 111 or watch a livestream via YouTube. The event was free for students, $5 for faculty, staff, and alumni, and $10 for members of the community.

Beginning with a brief introduction to the event, Merryl Goldberg, a professor of music at CSUSM, mentioned that “under Dr. Cheng’s leadership, we became an All-Steinway school. So with great thanks to Ching-Ming Cheng and all the donors who helped us out with the pianos.” All-Steinway is a title given to a college, university, or other institution who has, according to the Steinway website,  “demonstrate[d] a full commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best instruments possible for the study of music.”

As an All-Steinway school, Cheng and Kao sat at Steinway & Sons pianos. Over the course of two hours, Cheng and Kao played a variety of songs, such as Carmen Fantasy and a Disney Medley. There was a brief intermission and an encore performance. The duo is set to perform again on the 19th at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California.

“I was impressed with the diversity of the songs they could play and how they transitioned from song to song. It was really seamless how they moved from each song to the next one,” Saige Brown, a third-year student, said.

Regarding the Arts & Lectures event format, Brown said, “I’m glad they’re doing in-person events again because it’s a lot more immersive. And it’s cool they livestream it for people who can’t attend in-person.”

A notable addition to the Arts & Lectures website is information regarding Covid-19 waivers and vaccination/testing requirements. While students, faculty, and staff are listed as omitted due to the mandates on campus, outside members of the community are subject to additional requirements in order to attend on-campus events. These include signing a waiver and showing proof of one of the following: vaccination, a negative covid test no more than two days prior to the event, or a negative rapid antigen test no more than one day prior to the event. The campus mask policy is still enforced for indoor events.

For more information on CSUSM’s Arts & Lectures and upcoming events, visit https://www.csusm.edu/al/index.html