ROCKINGHAM — A middle-school choir director and local piano teacher will put on a benefit concert Thursday to raise money for his piano studies in Italy this summer.
John W. Tyson, a teacher and choir director at Rockingham Middle School, will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church of Rockingham. The concert also will feature soprano Elizabeth Moss and baritone John Collins, who will sing a variety of musical selections ranging from classical to spirituals to Broadway hits.
Angela Chen, one of Tyson’s piano students, will be featured in a four-hands duet. The concert also will feature Kacey Matheson on oboe.
Tyson is a Rockingham native and a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, where he received his bachelor’s in music education. He has been playing the piano since age 9.
While studying at ECU’s A.J. Fletcher School of Music, Tyson performed with the ECU Orchestra, at the Yves Nat Piano Festival in Beziers, France, and at Steinway Hall in New York City. He has also performed in master classes and has had studies with Oxana Yablonskaya, a former professor of piano at the Julliard School, Yuri Kim, Joanna Chao and Reid Smith, who is director of the Dellwood Hills Piano School in Minnesota. Tyson currently studies with pianist Teddy Robie in Raleigh.
Tyson is a North Carolina teaching fellow and a recipient of the Cole Foundation Arts Scholarship and the John Philip Sousa Band Award. He is also a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Music Fraternity, where he held the position of assistant music director while at ECU.
He also holds membership in the N.C. Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the N.C. Bandmasters Association. For the past four years, Tyson served as an adjudicator for the N.C. Eastern All-District high school band auditions, N.C. All-State Band auditions, N.C. Eastern Region jazz auditions and the N.C. All-State jazz auditions.
Tyson teaches private piano lessons and is director of music at First Presbyterian Church. He is currently in his fourth year teaching.