Timothy De Prey is the Director of Individual Instruction and Piano Instructor at MacPhail Center for Music since 1997. Timothy is often referred to as a “fixture” at MacPhail as he has recently celebrated his 20th year at MacPhail. But his association with MacPhail began much earlier – in 1981 – when he began studying piano with the esteemed MacPhail piano instructor Gary Sipes. Timothy continued to study with Mr. Sipes for another 28 years until Mr. Sipes’ death in 2009.
Timothy’s younger students participate in MacPhail’s Crescendo for Piano Program and throughout his teaching career his students have won many competitions including the Junior Honor’s Competition, the Honor’s Competition and the prestigious Concerto and Aria Competition. Timothy enjoys working with students of all ages and levels, but specifically enjoys students who are interested in a variety of repertoire and technical challenges. Although he teaches through traditional methods, Timothy incorporates pop and jazz genres if the students are interested. Nearly half of his students are beginning adults or adults who have returned to music. He incorporates technology into his teaching with video tutorials, YouTube examples and he also has students who take lessons exclusively Online.
Timothy is an active performer in the Twin Cities and has performed on five MacPhail Spotlight Performances including “By George” – the music of George Gershwin and most recently as the pianist for “Flirting with Sondheim”. In addition to his work at MacPhail, Timothy has been the principal accompanist for the well-respected Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus since 1991. As pianist for the chorus Timothy has had the opportunity to work with Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Holly Near and Harvey Fierstein. Timothy can be heard on all 16 of TCGMC’s CD’s, on “Proud and Peaceful”- a CD of solo piano music from the pianists within GALA (Gay and Lesbian Choruses of America) and on his own CD’s, “in the evening air” – a collection of nocturnes, lullabies and night songs and “I Love a Piano” – a recording commemorating his 20th year accompanying the Twin Cities’ Gay Men’s Chorus and “this is the wonder” a holiday CD celebrating his 25th anniversary with the chorus.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges proclaimed December 5, 2015 as Timothy De Prey Day in the City of Minneapolis honoring his work with MacPhail Center for Music and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Timothy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota.
“He brings out the best in me”
“He turns a piece I can play technically into a piece of music”
“His insights, his gentle ways and his musicality are quite magical”
“He’s such a gem – a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person”
“Timothy is an imaginative, flexible, and responsive piano teacher”
“By taking me seriously he reminds me that I am worthy of his attention”
“He deepens my enjoyment of music and that is reason enough to take piano lessons”
“Timothy provides support and specific instructions about how to improve my technique and how to practice effectively. And he makes sure I have fun!”
“As an adult student who hadn’t taken lessons for 45 yrs. Tim had the amazing ability to correct bad habits, fill in the gaps that were missing and encourage my strengths”
“Tim’s love and understanding of music comes across so clearly through his teaching. If some how he could be with me daily for practice time I’d be such a better player”
“I play for my own enjoyment and love for music, but also play and practice to honor my mentor”
“Tim brings out the music in me”
“Pianist Timothy De Prey was excellent all evening, most notably on a version of “Summertime”.
St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 2016
“De Prey was the most valuable player on this night. It was nice to catch a concert that demonstrated his splendid skills”.
Star Tribune, June 2016
“His playing was exquisite in its own right, but it also seemed to inspire and bring out the best in the chorus and the soloists”
St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 2016
“Pianist Timothy De Prey was tirelessly on-point the entire evening.”
Star Tribune, February 2018
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