College of Visual and Performing Arts Stories

CVPA All-Star Series: Yanet Bermudez

Yanet Bermudez 2018

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

Yanet Bermudez grew up in a family of musicians in Havana, Cuba. When she was eight-years-old, her parents decided she would become a pianist (parents must decide if their children will be pianists by age eight in that culture). Bermudez was accepted into the National School of Arts in Havana, where she would study from age 8 to 18—and attend both middle school and high school. Out of 100 students, Bermudez says she was one of four accepted to the piano program at the high school level—and one of two accepted to study piano performance at the University of Arts of Cuba in Havana. It was in her undergraduate music class that she met her Venezuelan trumpeter husband, Adrian Cottier, and the two moved to Venezuela for a year after graduating in 2012.

In 2013, Bermudez began a master’s program in piano performance at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Cottier’s parents lived in Pennsylvania, so the two would often drive through Harrisonburg. During one unintended stop, they decided to explore the town and discovered a university! Bermudez is now in her third year as a doctoral student majoring in piano performance at JMU. As part of her graduate assistantship with the School of Music, Bermudez teaches keyboard skills classes, supports Dr. Lisa Maynard in her teaching of music to kindergarteners through JMU’s Young Children’s Program, and works with Dr. David Stringham on his project to bring music and storytelling to formerly incarcerated men at Harrisonburg’s Gemeinschaft Home. Bermudez is also keeping busy with her dissertation on Cuban composer Gisela Hernández and as the pianist at Dayton United Methodist Church.

April 3, 2018

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Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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