Owens opened the night with a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach, “French Suite No. 6 in E major,” a lively piece from the Baroque era. After playing eight movements, he admitted that even nerves can get the best of him, and opening with such a complicated piece was not his best idea. Following this was “Piano Sonata in D major,” one of Mozart’s earliest piano sonatas.
Owens continued to impress throughout the recital with a piece written by a friend, Greg Robin, titled “…and a Round of Interruptions and Halts.” Owens warned it was not an audience friendly piece, nevertheless it kept one entertained, and pleasantly surprised near the end. He metioned it was the second time that particular piece was ever played in the state of Iowa.
After a lighter piece titled “Rondo Capriccioso,” by Felix Mendelssohn, Owens told the audience the story behind his final selection. Sergei Prokofiev, a Russian composer during the WWII era, was forced to write an Ode to Stalin. “Piano Sonata in B-flat” was written following that time and expressed his feelings about being under that pressure. The last movement Owens was particularly fond of because it addresses the horror of warfare, in a beautifully brutal way.
Dr. Owens is an associate professor of music at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He received his bachelor of music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and continued his graduate work at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. There Owens received his master of music and doctorate of musical arts.
Owens performs as a pianist and organist at Grace United Methodist Church in Sioux City. He is also the principal keyboardist for the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, whose next performance is Oct. 17 at the Orpheum Theatre. One can also hear Owens as a pianist and accompanist for choirs and other vocal recitals at Briar Cliff University.
Since then, he has performed various recitals in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Just prior to teaching at Briar Cliff University, Owens spent five years at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain Miss.