Degrees and Certifications:
Lucy DeSa, pianist, has performed nationally and internationally as both solo recitalist and chamber musician. Her enthusiastically received solo recitals have been heard in such diverse locations as Middlebury College in Vermont, the Bera Concert Series in Brookhaven, New York, McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas, and the University of California, Irvine. She has performed with clarinetist Marcus Eley in recital at the Cité Universitaire de Paris; at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as part of the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series; and on the Old First Church Concert Series in San Francisco. Ms. DeSa and Mr. Eley have also performed for radio WFMT Chicago, KUSC Los Angeles, and for the National Public Radio series, “Performance Today”. Their most recent collaboration was a recital of music for clarinet and piano composed by African-Americans. This recital was toured throughout South Africa, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, at township schools in Johannesburg, and was recorded at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. Regarding her collaborative playing, Cue, the festival newspaper, declared, “ DeSa’s pianism is out of the top drawer with her vast array of touches, huge dynamic vocabulary, exceptional control over nuances and phenomenal digital accuracy”. Arabesque Records released Mr. Eley and Ms. DeSa’s recording, Welcome Home, a collection of American music for clarinet and piano, in March 1998. The Jazz Report called Welcome Home “A superb recording.”
Ms. DeSa is currently the piano instructor at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She was Assistant Professor of Piano at Birmingham-Southern College from 2008-2011, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell from 2004-2008, and was a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, from 1987-1994. As a music educator, Ms. DeSa has given master classes at McPherson College, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, and for eight years taught a popular weekly master class at Irvine Valley Community College. Also at Irvine Valley College, she was Artistic Director of the Orange County Young Performing Artists Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing performance opportunities for young musicians aged 18 to 24. As an adjudicator, Ms. DeSa has selected winners of competitions sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society, the Pacific Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Music Teachers Association of California.
Upon hearing her perform as winner of the Lila McKinnon Award at the Joanna Hodges Competition, the Palm Springs Desert Sun declared, "Her technique is solid, and her musicianship seems innate, which is rare." The Palos Verdes Peninsula News commented on her "effortless technique and delicate phrasing," and her performance of Chopin's Preludes was called "pianistic poetry."
Ms. DeSa received her bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Southern California, respectively. Her principal teachers have been Willem Van Overeem, John Perry, and Gilbert Kalish. In 2007, Ms. DeSa completed her doctoral degree in piano performance at Stony Brook University.