To be invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City may be one of the most prestigious accomplishments a musician can achieve.
For students, alumni and faculty of the Department of Music at Pittsburg State University, taking one of its renowned stages is an honor that is occurring more and more.
Dr. Selim Giray, a professor of violin and viola at PSU, has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in January through Mid America Productions, which presents a chamber music series there. He will perform a concert of his native Turkish music along with his pianist, Dr. Gulimina Mahamuti, a PSU alumna who is on the music faculty at Ohio Wesleyan University.
"To not only perform there, but also be asked to appear in that concert series, is very prestigious," said Giray. "This is a marvelous experience for us to get to collaborate."
The two began performing together in 2006 and recorded music in Ohio last summer, where Giray spends his summers working with the Ohio Light Opera (he also serves as conductor of the SEK Symphony). When the music series organizers heard his CD, 'Turkish Music for Violin and Piano' they invited them to perform.
Giray and Mahamuti have been working hard to prepare. After performing a sneak-preview concert at McCray Hall in September, the duo will perform at Oklahoma State University, the University of Kansas, and City University of New York in Queens prior to their Carnegie Hall performance.
Although performing at the famed hall is no doubt an accomplishment, Giray says he has worked with a few alumni and even a current student who have also performed there - a testament to PSU's music programs.
"Our students have been performing in the greatest concert halls around the world," he said. "So it's nothing groundbreaking for them to be successful. But we are fortunate for the caliber of musicianship and scholarship that our students demonstrate."