By Zoe Ekeh
Abigail “Gail” Lilite grew up surrounded by music. Her parents were both music majors with her mom working as a private piano teacher and her dad being a vocal professor. Both of them play piano, and Gail began learning at the age of 5.
After discovering a Cedarville University professor’s YouTube channel, Gail decided to apply to Cedarville because of its amazing music department. She is from Oklahoma so prior to coming here she did not have any knowledge of Cedarville University.
Gail is currently a junior double majoring in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. “The degrees are pretty overlapping,” Gail states. She explains that a performance major focuses on learning all forms of classical music related to a specific instrument, as well as taking conducting and literature classes. A piano pedagogy major, or keyboard pedagogy in Gail’s case, is “the study of teaching piano.”
Gail is an accompanist for the Concert Chorale directed by Dr. Anderson, where she plays piano for the choir and sings. She has also been a part of the Madrigal Choir with Dr. Jaquith. Additionally, Gail often accompanies piano for Worship and Music majors.
Her piano accompanist skills come in handy for music major juries, a final for a student in a music major, and general recitals that are Tuesdays at 5:00 pm. “Anytime you have a vocalist or any instrumentalist, they generally need a pianist to play along with them,” Gail says. She also plays piano for private lessons, masterclasses, studio classes, and recitals for vocalists and other musicians.
Marion “Mary Jo” Johnson is a junior studying Music Education, and a friend of Gail’s. A violinist who is a part of the university’s orchestra and chamber ensembles, and who does solo work, Gail often accompanies her violin performances.
“I have definitely observed that she is always prepared, and she is very in tune with what I want to do as a musician,” Johnson says. Gail and Johnson both contribute important musical ideas when they work together. Watching Gail as a piano accompanist for the chorale choir and a musical production she could see how dedicated Gail was to her art.
When she is done with college, Gail is considering attending grad school for collaborative piano, “which is just more of what I do right now.” She also wants to continue teaching piano. “Eventually just doing whatever the Lord opens up opportunities to do,” remarks Gail.
Zoe Ekeh is a junior Journalism major and writer for Cedars’ Arts and Entertainment section. An Ohio native born and raised in Dayton, Zoe has always loved music.