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Jan 10, 2014 2:09 PM by Dan Shadwell

Cal Poly professor performs Bach, Bartok, Ravel, and Chopin to benefit students

One of the cool things about watching performances by local musicians, is that many of them also teach the skills they've mastered.
That's especially true for Cal Poly music department chair, Dr. Terrence Spiller, who's playing this weekend at the PAC in San Luis Obispo, to raise money to help his students.
His technique has earned him prizes in international piano competitions... and he make sure his work on-stage, reflects what he professes in the classroom.
"I learned how important that was during my first recital at Cal Poly 20-plus years ago," he explains. "One of my students came up to me and said, 'you do do what you teach!' So, that was kind of an interesting little, '...oops! I better make sure I do practice what I preach!' "
Spiller makes his playing look easy. But it may surprise you to learn that after decades of practice and preaching, he still gets butterflies.
"Oh, good lord, yes," he says with a laugh. "I think it's a good consequence of taking what you do seriously. Horowitz, the story was, had to be pushed out on-stage because he was convinced his hands would turn to granite!" Spiller laughs, "... so everybody has those little birds on their heads."
This weekend, he'll perform music by Bach, Bartok, Ravel, and several pieces by Frederic Chopin.
Dr. Spiller has been recognized by the University of Southern California School of Music as outstanding doctoral graduate of 1991 and the LA Times calls his playing "polished" and "genteel".
The recital is Saturday night at 8pm at the Spanos Theatre and it will benefit the Cal Poly Music Department Scholarship Fund.
Tickets are $9 for students and seniors, $12 for the general public.

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