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Exploring human expression through music

CODY OLIVAS
SUMMIT DAILY NEWS

Music is an integral part of the human experience, and it intrinsically has the power to affect our emotions. A quick beat gets the blood going and seems to make us move faster. A slow rhythm played in minor keys can make us feel sadness — if that’s what the creator felt while composing the piece.

Indeed, our brains seem to be hard-wired not only to appreciate this art form, but also to desire to participate in its creation.

But why are we so attracted to music? How has it become a means for personal expression and universal communication?

These are some of the questions Andrew Cooperstock exploree Sunday at Summit County’s Unitarian Universalist Church in Frisco.

“We have different speakers every week talking about spiritual things that make us contemplate life,” said Cara Camping, the church’s resident musician.

Leading Sunday’s service will be Cooperstock, a sought after pianist and chair of the University of Colorado’s keyboard department.

“Through my personal experience as one of his piano students, his style and energy around teaching and music in general have inspired me to reach for perfection in my technique and interpretation of the music,” Camping said. “He uses his experiences, stories, analogies and quite a bit of animation to convey his points and as a result, (he) keeps me on the edge of my seat for every minute of my lesson.”

Cooperstock has never been to a Unitarian church before, but Camping helped select him to lead the service anyway.

“I’ve played piano for over 40 years, and I’ve become interested over the years in how we express our emotions as performers and why people are interested in it,” Cooperstock said. “Our brains are wired to need music, melody and rhythm; it’s something built in humans.”

Besides speaking about music at the service, Cooperstock will perform a couple of his favorite pieces: Chopin’s Nocturne in B-Flat Minor and Ravel’s Oiseaux tristes, or “Sad Birds.”

“I chose two short, very expressive pieces,” Cooperstock said. “These are both favorite pieces of mine that I like to play a lot.”

Cooperstock performs both as a soloist and in a duo with violinist William Terwilliger.

Sunday he’ll be performing solo at the church.


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