United in music, ASU husband-wife duo collaborate with visiting professor in upcoming performance

The power that music has to bring people together will be on full display at Katzin Concert Hall Thursday when married couple Katherine McLin and Andrew Campbell collaborate with visiting professor Lauren Jacobson in a colorful combination of piano, violin and clarinet.  

Andrew Campbell has been an associate professor at the ASU School of Music and has taught collaborative piano since 2002. He began studying music at age five when he took up piano lessons. He said his parents played a big role in shaping his career in music.

“My dad was an amateur jazz pianist, so there was always music going on in my house,” Campbell said. “That was a big influence, hearing music all of the time.”

Music stayed a big part of Campbell’s life as he worked as a collaborative pianist for an orchestra before he took on the job at ASU. Now, Campbell says he focuses on collaborating with other musicians across the nation, but mostly performs alongside his wife, Katherine McLin.

“We got married the summer between getting our masters’ and our doctorates,’ all the while performing together,” Campbell said. “It went hand in hand with being married. We’ve done hundreds of concerts together across 40 states, and it is a really unique experience to be able to perform regularly with your spouse.”

Campbell said when the couple travels they typically play as a duo, but also perform in larger ensembles or trios similar to the concert in Tempe tomorrow night.

Katherine McLin also began learning music at a young age when her older sister played violin and taught McLin. She now works as a professor of violin at ASU and has done so for the last 20 years. She said that playing with other professors of music is rewarding, and that there is nothing like it.

“It is a lot like going out and meeting new people, except you are making music together," McLin said. "That creates a very powerful bond with these people who have the same passions as you.” 

She said the connections with other professors of music are how she feels plugged in to the music community.

“The music world is a very small community,” McLin said. “You run into the same people over and over again, and it is really lovely to have that personal larger community that you feel very connected with.”

She said although she performs in mostly professional environments, playing music with other professors at universities is what she really enjoys.

“Playing at universities is really fun because it gives us a chance to work with the next generation (of) musicians,” McLin said. “Speaking personally, that is my passion.”

McLin and Campbell both said they share their same passion with like-minded colleagues all over the nation, which is how they came to collaborate with Lauren Jacobson.

Jacobson is an assistant professor at the school of music at the University of Northern Colorado. She met McLin and Campbell at a music festival last summer in Luxembourg. 

“Small ensembles like this (are) my favorite thing to play, in general,” Jacobson said. “I think what is really special about this situation is I am joining a duo of these two people who have played together for a long time and have a great connection.”

Jacobson said that instead of working on blending sounds or playing together, the trio was able to get right into perfecting their music selections.

“It has been a real pleasure to join their duo that already has so much talent and connection in it,” she said.

These three faculty artists will be playing dramatic works by Stravinsky, Milhaud, Khachaturian and Peter Schickele at the concert.

The show will be at at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Katzin Concert Hall. Tickets cost $9 for general admission, or $5 for students. They can be purchased here.

The show can also be live-streamed on YouTube Thursday night.

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Reach the reporter at hkbrand@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @hayieysays

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