Artists of the day: Paul Reller and Corey Holt Merenda
In the early 1990s, composer Paul Reller and pianist Corey Holt Merenda were in Clang, a brainy Tampa Bay pop band that was once a pretty big deal. They were also closely involved with Bonk, a festival that brought composers and performers of contemporary classical and electronic music to the bay area from 1991 until 2005.
But Clang didn’t land a record contract and folded about 10 years ago. “We couldn’t be marketed to a certain niche because we’d play a bossa nova and then a heavy metal number,’’ said Merenda, who still has every Clang T-shirt.
Today, Reller is an associate professor of music at the University of South Florida, and Merenda now runs a design company with her husband, Bruce.
But Reller still composes, and Merenda still plays piano. And on Friday night, Merenda will give a recital of three piano sonatas composed for her by Reller. All written in the past five years or so, they don’t seem especially pop-influenced, but Merenda hears some blues, jazz and ragtime in Sonata No. 3.
“I hear Gershwin and Scott Joplin,’’ she said.
The performance is at 8 p.m. Friday at the Music Recital Hall of the University of South Florida, Tampa. Tickets are $8-$15. (813) 974-2323; music.arts.usf.edu.
For more on Reller and Merenda, click here to check out John Fleming's story about the recital.
Photo: Edmund D. Fountain.