Lilia and Megan perform at Panorama June 15 @ 6pm!

Lilia and Megan delighted a group of seniors with an amazing recital at Panorama's Quinault Auditorium on Friday, June 15, 2018.  The audience was enthusiastic as they nodded and hummed along to a number of pieces.  The girls performed 3 sets of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.  After "guest artist" Lucas performed a couple pieces, Megan and Lilia played several modern pieces, ending with a flashy duet of Chopsticks.  After the recital, we found out a number of members in the crowd were former musicians, band members and singers, even one was a former music professor at Dekalb!  The concert was followed by a delicious dinner at local "Hot Stone" and "Grandpa's Ice-cream".  

 The crowd loved the "C.S. Variations" duet as well as the other pieces performed!

The crowd loved the "C.S. Variations" duet as well as the other pieces performed!

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End of the Year Piano Updates & Summer Lessons

Happy Mother's Day 2018!

END OF THE YEAR:  GUILD, RECITAL
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and Guild/Recital/End of Piano Quarter is even sooner--three more weeks as of this coming Tuesday!  I will be sending home Guild sheets this coming week which contain a summary of all required elements of the exam at the National level--10 items!  I told many students that THIS WEEK is the week to get the pieces polished and memorized, so there is enough time to feel comfortable and focus on artistry and expression, rather than notes and memory.  I am so proud of these kids, they have worked hard all year and really sound wonderful!  Quite a few students have learned over 20 pieces this year; several are over 30 pieces, and one is close to 40!  Families, wouldn't it be a great experience for students to put on a mini-recital for grandparents, neighbors, and friends?  Please consider having them share their music with others!  If any of you are interested in playing in a retirement center or nursing home or other community center, let me know, and I can help you set something up!  They are so appreciative!

SUMMER LESSONS AND CAMP
Summer lessons are available these weeks on a limited basis.  Please let me know which weeks would work for you.  If your student is planning to do the Concerto Competition in November at the Intermediate or Advanced levels, 2 lessons *minimum* are required.  
June 11
June 18
June 25
July 9
July 16 (also Ensemble Piano Camp at my home)
August lessons (TBA)

Music Artistry Program 2018 Update

The 2018 Music Artistry Program (formerly known as Adjudications) took place the week of March 15, with Sandra Mauchley as our adjudicator/Visiting Artist.  Sandra was positive and encouraging and had helpful comments for everyone!  Students all worked hard, showing excellent preparation.  She selected these students for special honors:

HONORS RECITAL -  Winners:  Alex, Lilia and Megan--congratulations!  Alternates:  Chloe, Sky and Gavin.  Good job to everyone!

WSMTA HONORS RECITAL COMPETITION -Lilia and Chloe received an Honorable Mentions and will receive a gold medallion on their certificates!

 

Chloe Performs for the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble Concert!

On April 14, our own Chloe was the featured "Youth Guest Artist" onstage at the Washington Center for the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble Concert.  As the winner of the MCE Youth Competition last spring, Chloe was given this opportunity to perform, as well as a cash scholarship.  Way to go, Chloe!

MCE's concert was all about Women Composers, entertaining the crowd with pieces by Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, Fanny Mendelssohn, and others. Chloe played Polonaise 1 & 2 from Clara Schumann's Quatre Polonaise, Op. 1.  Clara was the same age as Chloe when she composed these four pieces.  Chloe played with a youthful energy that those listening could imagine Clara herself had! 

 Chloe smiling in front of her poster at the Washington Center.  This must be after her performance, she looks so happy!

Chloe smiling in front of her poster at the Washington Center.  This must be after her performance, she looks so happy!

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 Biography from the concert program

Biography from the concert program

 Concert program cover art

Concert program cover art

Allen Studio Featured in National Piano Magazine!

Our entire studio was selected to be featured in the Spring 2018 issue of "Piano Guild News!"  Especially mentioned are our 5-year National Winners, Eleanor and Luke.  Congratulations to everyone!  I'm looking forward to another great Guild Performance from each of you!

 L to R:  Hannah, Gavin, Lucas, Luke, Judson, Lucy, Eleanor, Makayla, Megan, Tyler, Lilia, Henry, Chloe, Isabella, Viveka, Ramona

L to R:  Hannah, Gavin, Lucas, Luke, Judson, Lucy, Eleanor, Makayla, Megan, Tyler, Lilia, Henry, Chloe, Isabella, Viveka, Ramona

Lilia and Chloe take on the Chopin NW 2018!

Two students from our studio, Lilia and Chloe, took part in the 15th Chopin NW Piano Competition.  Featuring all piano music of Chopin, it was a day filled with beautiful music and incredible performances.  There were 6 divisions according to age, from under 9 years old to 18 year olds and adults.  

RESULTS:  Chloe won the Silver Medal in the 10-11 year category!  Congratulations on your hard work and exceptional performance, Chloe!  You can see her competition performance:  https://youtu.be/_xkC1QK_zLE; as well as her performance at the Winners' Recital here:  https://youtu.be/fa89RkPE7rY

A message from the President of the Chopin NW, Allan Park, summarizes the event:

Dear Chopin NW Winners, RESONANCE Manager, teachers and board members,

WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY! Four rooms, four judges, 170 contestants, 32 hours of Chopin’s music and thousands of practicing hours brought us to this pivotal point to say CONGRATULATIONS to you all! You deserve the spotlight and I am certain that we will have a beautiful Gold and Silver Medalists’ Concert tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 pm (Gold Medalists) and 4:30 (Silver Medalists)!

 Chloe and Lilia are all smiles after the Chopin NW!

Chloe and Lilia are all smiles after the Chopin NW!

Concerto Competition 2017 Results

Congratulations to Luke, Gavin, Viveka, Isabella, Sky, Chloe, Lilia, Megan and Alex for beautiful performances at the 2017 OMTA Concerto Competition!  It was an impressive group of almost 60 young pianists from the greater Olympia region, performing concerti from Elementary to Advanced repertoire.  The audience had a memorable time, as the above students played so musically and masterfully.  Full results can be found on the olymta.org website in the next few days.

From our studio, special awards go to:  Isabella (2nd prize, Lower Intermediate); Sky (HM, Upper Intermediate); Chloe (1st prize, Upper Intermediate); Lilia (HM, Advanced A); Megan (3rd prize, Advanced B); Alex (2nd prize, Advanced B).  Congratulations to all of you!

 

 Viveka and Isabella played beautifully in the Intermediate A Division.  Isabella received 2nd place!

Viveka and Isabella played beautifully in the Intermediate A Division.  Isabella received 2nd place!

 Sky and Chloe performed in the Intermediate B Division.  Sky received HM and Chloe 1st prize!  Michael (student of Beecher who photobombed us and also was accompanied by Ramona), received 2nd prize.

Sky and Chloe performed in the Intermediate B Division.  Sky received HM and Chloe 1st prize!  Michael (student of Beecher who photobombed us and also was accompanied by Ramona), received 2nd prize.

 Megan performed Rhapsody in Blue and was awarded 3rd prize in Advanced B.  Lilia played Mozart #21 for an HM, and Alex was awarded 2nd prize for his Shostakovich #2!

Megan performed Rhapsody in Blue and was awarded 3rd prize in Advanced B.  Lilia played Mozart #21 for an HM, and Alex was awarded 2nd prize for his Shostakovich #2!

 Alex and Megan show off their hardware!

Alex and Megan show off their hardware!

Fall Master Lessons & Classes

Dr. Oksana Ezhokina (PLU) has a knack for putting a new spin on our music!  Fun(ny) and helpful phrases include:  "Be a drama queen!"  "Make it sound like melting chocolate."  "Be surly!  Show us your swagger!"  "Have fun jumping!  Feel like you're punching a cookie cutter."

Daniel Lebhardt, a young Hungarian pianist of YCA fame, came to St. Martin's Univ for a concert and masterclass. Mr. Lebhardt was extremely detailed, quietly listening for every tiny nuance!  He urged the students to "Be strict with yourself!  Ask yourself, was it good enough?  If not, do it again until it is.  Another quote of his:  "Always remember, you play piano with your ears, not your hands!"  

 

Summer 2017 Music Making

Summer Recitals by Chloe, Isabella, Lilia & Megan:

These four students performed recitals at local retirement centers this summer, much to the delight of those in attendance!  

Chloe performed her first solo recital (at 10 years old!) and did a musical and masterful showcase.  

Isabella and her two brothers, Ben (violin) and Jacob (cello) perform as the Swords and Shields Trio.  They were very well received, especially an original composition by one of the brothers!  

Lilia and Megan performed a duo recital to a lovely and appreciative crowd, pleasing them with their National Guild concert repertoire.  

What a wonderful way to contribute to our community and to create a musical afternoon or evening for others!

Other summer musical activities included:  

Lilia:  Icicle Creek Piano Camp, Appletree Productions (piano)

Megan:  Poomba in the Lion King (CTE), Appletree Productions (piano)

Alex:  CTE and Appletree Productions--lighting, stage design, piano and violin

 

 

Chloe wins the MCE Youth Competition!

Congratulations to our own Chloe on winning the Elementary Division of the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble!  She performed a Chopin Prelude and a Waltz for a panel of 4 judges.  Competition was stiff, as the level of playing was very high!  As a prize winner, she will be featured in a MCE concert for the 2018-19 season, along with the winners of the Middle and High School division, Maya and Caddie.  Good job to all three of them, and to all who performed!  

For information on MCE and their upcoming concerts, please go to mce.org.  

 

Hannah and Chloe receive accolades at ACM!

On April 1st, Hannah and Chloe participated the 8th annual ACM Young Musicians Competition.  Hannah played Liszt's Liebestraume No. 3 and received 2nd prize (Div. 4), and Chloe played Chopin's Minute Waltz and received an Honorable Mention (Div. 1 only receives HM's). The adjudicator was Dr. Balabanova.  Congratulations to both of you!

Adjudications 2017

Congratulations to everyone on a successful Piano Adjudications 2017!  Professor Jeffrey Gilliam, professor of piano at Western Washington University, had many helpful insights for all.  Good job, everyone!

Quite a few of our students were selected as winners for the Honor Recital:  

Upper Level Winners:  Hannah, Megan (Alternate:  Lilia)

Lower Level Winners:  Isabella, Judson (Alternate:  Viveka)

Honorable Mentions:  Alex, Eleanor, Chloe, Gavin

 

Chopin Piano Competition Results: Lilia is the winner!

Congratulations to Lilia, the Chopin Piano Competition winner of the Intermediate Division!  

As part of her win, she received a cash prize, gifts from the City of Lacey/Sister City in Poland, and a performance with the Polish pianist, Jacek Nazarczuk, along with the winner from the Advanced Division.  The concert was held at SPSCC Minnaert Center on March 25.  

This competition happened on the same day as Adjudications, so it was quite a full musical day for all the competitors!  Each young pianist had to prepare 4 memorized Chopin pieces:  2 Preludes, 1 Waltz, and 1 Mazurka.  A very impressive feat!  

The other competitors from our studio were:  Megan, Chloe and Alex.  I'm so proud of all of you!  

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Piano Pal Project Conclusion!

For the past 7 or 8 years, we have done a composition project called "Piano Pal".  Every year, we are excited and impressed by what each student has to share.  This year was no different!  At our Jan. 31 Group Classes, we heard their original compositions.

Inspired by their friends, there were descriptive titles such as:  "Star Wars Monkey", "Turmoil", "Two Points in a Volleyball Match (a Really Sad One)", "Puppies in the Snow", "Chana Masala", and "Ocean Night".  Others were to the point and used the friend's name, ie. "Lucas's Song" and "Megan".  

Ask them to compose you an original song!

Concerto Fest is a great success!

The 17th Annual OMTA Concerto Fest took place this past Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Washington Center.  Over 50 young and talented pianists from Olympia participated.  Our studio had 7 students represent us, and EVERYONE did a FANTASTIC job!  It is incredibly inspiring to see and hear what these students are achieving.  I am so proud of each of them, and boy, did they all work hard and stretch themselves.  Hooray!  

In the Elementary division, Lucas and Gavin did some of their finest work!  In Intermediate, Chloe won 1st prize, yeay!  Alex and Isabella earned an Honorable Mention!  In Advanced, Megan and Lilia were amazing!  Lilia won 1st prize!  As the winner of an advanced division, Lilia will play with the orchestra (OCO) in the spring.  More details will follow, as we would like to celebrate this occasion with the whole studio!  Full results are posted on the OMTA website:  olympiamusicteachers.org.  

GREAT JOB, EVERYONE!

Emerald City Music: Concert Reviews by Isabella and Viveka!

A Review of the Emerald City Music Concert

By Isabella Shields

I recently went to an Emerald City Music Concert. It wasn’t what I expected. Some concerts can get dry, but these performers mixed it up by starting with a jazzy piece called Souvenirs, Suite for Piano Four Hands by Barber. It was inspired by the music you would hear at a 1900’s New York salon. Next, a violinist and pianist impressed the audience by playing a lively piece titled Birdsong for Violin and Piano. The music’s rapid movement of notes resembled a bird’s chirping. The third song they performed—and probably my favorite—was named Techno Parade for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano. It was an interesting piece because the pianist put paper on the strings on the inside of the piano and started tapping it like a drum. The modern and exciting tune kept the enthusiastic crowds on the edge of their seats, and the pianist out of his! Then a different group—an ensemble called Windsync—played Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet. They explained that a Bagatelle is a short, unpretentious piece. I asked my mom what “unpretentious” means and she said that it’s when you’re not trying to show off.  On the last piece Emerald City Music made a decision to do something a bit more traditional and performed Souvenir de Florence for String Sextet by Tchaikovsky. Some movements of the piece were slow others were faster. Over all, the performers were spectacular and it was a worthwhile concert.

  Isabella is a spunky and sparkling 5th grader at Pioneer Elementary,  who does her best in everything she puts her mind to!  A totally creative type, she loves writing, composing music and reading great books.  She and her two big brothers have formed a trio called the Swords and Shields Trio!

Isabella is a spunky and sparkling 5th grader at Pioneer Elementary,  who does her best in everything she puts her mind to!  A totally creative type, she loves writing, composing music and reading great books.  She and her two big brothers have formed a trio called the Swords and Shields Trio!

 

Emerald City Music Concert Review by Viveka

The concert was amazing in many different ways. The music was meticulously crafted and expressed different tones throughout the concert.

The Barber piece was a light and fun piece that had a big range of notes, and some notes that were faster and some notes that were a lot longer. I really liked that song because it wasn't fast enough that you couldn’t understand it or so slow that you would get bored. Overall, this was a great song.

The Birdsong was a piece that jumped from quick, short notes to long notes that led to suspenseful rests. While in my opinion, it wasn’t the most enjoyable song, it was well played.

The Techno Parade was very fast paced; sounded like it might be in an action and adventure movie. It looked like lots of work for the pianist to 1) learn the song, and 2) stand up and tap on the paper while playing the music. It was full of energy!

I really enjoyed the Six Bagatelles. The word ‘bagatelle’ means ‘a short musical piece in a light style’. This piece fit that definition well. It was played by and unusual ensemble consisting of flute, piccolo, oboe, bassoon, french horn and clarinet. These are not instruments I’d have expected in anything less than a full orchestra and yet they worked together so well in this piece.

The Tchaikovsky was a classical piece that was easy to listen to and enjoy. I really liked how when one instrument was done with their section, another instrument picked the tune up. Overall, it was a well crafter beautiful piece.

Altogether, this was a wonderful concert for the variety of musical styles they showcased.

  Viveka is a vivacious 6th grader who excels at school, music, and at the gym! Besides piano, she also plays cello, dances and has been a competitive gymnast. She can even do splits on the piano bench!

Viveka is a vivacious 6th grader who excels at school, music, and at the gym! Besides piano, she also plays cello, dances and has been a competitive gymnast. She can even do splits on the piano bench!