Piano Sonata No. 8 (2017)

The Piano Sonata No. 8 was composed during the early few months of 2017. The opening movement seeks to represent “travel” to view examples of visual art in a museum.  While at the museum, there is much “contemplation” while viewing the many examples of visual art, and the second movement represents this experience.  Having concluded the viewing, there is a “return” to the place of lodging, and the concluding movement is represented thereby.  

This sonata has a bit of influence from the Mussorgsky work Pictures at an Exhibition.  The work is performed attacca.

Harvey J. Stokes
Duration of movements:
I. “ . . . going . . . “             ca. 7′ 10″
II. “ . . . arriving . . . “        ca. 7′ 08″
III. “ . . . returning . . . “     ca. 6′ 15″
Total Duration: ca. 20′ 33″

Performed 2/24/18 by Susan C. Ha, piano in Natchitoches, Louisiana at the 2018 Southeastern Composers League Forum Conference.

Performed 4/16/18 by Susan C. Ha, piano in Harrisonburg, Virginia, JMU Recital Hall, James Madison University School of Music.

Performed 11/5/22 by Benjamin Garner, piano in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the 2022 NACUSA-Mid Atlantic Forum Conference.



Pianist Susan C. Ha is Associate Professor of Piano at Norfolk State University and has served as Coordinator of the Piano Area since Fall 2014. She is an active soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist throughout the United States. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Interlochen Center for the Arts, World Piano Conference, and Intercollegiate Music Association. Solo performances have included concerto appearances with the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Mason Symphony Orchestra of Michigan, the New River Valley Symphony Orchestra, and James Madison University Symphony Orchestra. Other performance engagements include New Music Norfolk, Ferrara Chamber Music Symposium, Cincinnati Art Museum, Music and Meaning: Views from the 21st Century, the Investiture of the 28th President of the University of Cincinnati, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Accent 12. In 2013, she was invited to be on the performing member roster of Washington D.C.’s Friday Morning Music Club in the solo piano division.

Her recent performances include Oberlin College for the National GP3 Conference, Southeastern Composers League in Louisiana, violin and piano recitals with the associate concertmaster of Kimpo Philharmonic Orchestra of Korea, Cantabile Project of Norfolk, Sentara’s Music and Mind Center, Neon Festival of Norfolk’s Arts District, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Arts Festival, Symphonicity, George Mason University, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, and the Virginia Music Teachers Association’s Annual Conference. She had collaborated with the Virginia Opera as a pianist as well. In addition, she performs in 25-30 recitals per year at Norfolk State University.

An arts advocate, Ha is the coordinator of the Virginia Music Teachers Association’s annual concerto competition. While residing in Cincinnati, she was artistic director of two separate concert series in the greater Cincinnati area: Glendale Fine Music, which she co-founded in 2011, and the Challenging Performances Series, which she had reinstated for its 10th year in 2012. She had taught at Blue Lake Arts Center, The Lincoln University, the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and Communiversity Program at the University of Cincinnati. Her M.M. and D.M.A. in Piano Performance were completed at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with pianist Awadagin Pratt. Her other teachers include Dr. Eric Ruple and Dr. Hae-Won Min.  Her B.M. in Piano Performance with honors is from James Madison University. While attending JMU, she won the concerto competition in her sophomore and senior years, performing Schostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 and Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with the JMU Symphony Orchestra.


Benjamin Garner was born in Newport News, Virginia where he began piano lessons at age five.  He continued lessons privately until he enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he studied music performance from 2001-2007. During his time at VCU he gave performances in groups ranging from classical trios, string quartets, orchestras, and vocal choirs to experimental music and fusion bands.  Benjamin took a break from his studies and toured the east coast with a rock/jazz fusion band from 2004 to 2007. He then returned to VCU in 2007 to finish his Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree with a concentration in performance.

From there, Benjamin continued his studies in Winston-Salem, NC while attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Aided by an assistant-ship in recording, Benjamin completed his Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Music Performance with a concentration in Piano Performance in 2010. While in Winston-Salem, Benjamin performed solo and in ensembles spanning Music, Dance, Theater, and Film.

The Lincoln Center Institute, Kenan Teaching Fellowship followed completion of his Master’s Degree, and launched Benjamin into New York City to work alongside extraordinary teachers and performers. Benjamin quickly developed connections at numerous schools and taught music composition and instrument skills on Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola, Cello, Mandolin, Guitar, Percussion and more.

A technology enthusiast as well, Benjamin repairs and restores vintage electronic instruments and computers.  He has experience recording live sound in many enviroments. He has studied sound mixing and producing as well as worked regularly in a jointly owned recording studio.  Benjamin has since continued his fascination with recording technologies by starting and maintaining his own recording business, BG Mobile Recording. Benjamin has recorded sound for Television (PBS), ADR, Audition DVDs, full band albums, solo artist albums, and singles. Benjamin has also worked as Sound Designer for a variety of shows and venues in New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

In addition to playing the piano and organ, Benjamin sings, plays many string instruments, percussion, teaches music privately, composes and arranges music and designs sound for various ensembles and configurations. Benjamin has served as substitute director, as well as organist and pianist in numerous churches in Virginia, North Carolina, and New York for the last 18 years. Recently, Benjamin performed on synthesizer accompanying the JSMT Dance Project at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Currently, Benjamin is University Organist and Instructor of Piano and Organ at Hampton University.  He is an active member and substitute for the Tidewater Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).


Piano Sonata No. 8



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