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:; as well as her performance at the Winners' Recital here:

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 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 2nd 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 2nd prize in Advanced B.  Lilia played Mozart #21 for an HM, and Alex was awarded 2nd prize for his Shostakovich #2!


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  


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!  


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:  


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!

New Chopin Piano Competition Coming to Town!

BIG NEWS!  A brand new piano competition is coming to town, put on by the Lacey, WA & Minsk Mazowieki, Poland, Sister City Association!  Below is the email from the Chopin Competition Liaison, Vicki Tobin.

Chopin Competition 2017

Hello Colleagues!! It is with great urgency that I send to you the necessary information for application to engage your students in our newest area competition. This invitation is only going out to Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Clark, Cowlitz and the southwestern counties. PLEASE send this attachment out to your area teachers as soon as you are able!!

The Lacey/Minsk-Mazowiecki (birthplace of Chopin) Sister City Association is planning a wonderful event during March 2017. It will not only include an art exhibit with a Polish Guest artist but also a Chopin competition with a culminating concert, Guest Artist from Poland and awards - located at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.

The purse is healthy, the opportunity is wonderful and the information is attached. Please, please disseminate this information to your area teachers as soon as possible. As we all know, it takes time to put together four Chopin pieces and we are getting close!  

Feel free to email me with questions -

Happy Fall!!

Vicki Jardine Tobin
Competition Liason

DATES: March 20-23, 2017 Competition Trials
Concert for Winners – Saturday March 25, 2017 @ 7:30pm
South Puget Sound Community College
Minnaert Center for the Performing Arts
Olympia, WA
Rules, Repertoire and Application fees:

  • Intermediate Division application fee - $30

Ages – 12-15
First Place Prize money - $500

  • Advanced Division application fee - $50

Ages – 16-23
First Place Prize money - $1000


1. The Application period will be between October 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017.
2. APPLICATION FORMS AND APPLICATION PAYMENT WILL BE BY EMAIL ONLY. Once you submit your application, there will be no changes allowed. Please submit: NAME, AGE, ADDRESS, PHONE, EMAIL, and SELECTION OF PIECES TO BE PERFORMED to BOTH and
3. The Lacey Minsk Mazowiecki Chopin Competition and Festival encourages applications from pianists (U.S. citizens or U.S. residents) of ages 12-23.
4. Application fees for accepted participants are non-refundable. There may be SCHOLARSHIPS available to help supplement fees on a needs basis. Please contact us ASAP.
5. The repertoire is limited to the music of Frederic Chopin.
6. Competition will take place during the week of March 20-23, 2017. Scheduling will be by both phone and emailed confirmation and once scheduled should not be changed.
 7. 2017 Students are NOT required to be present other than 30 minutes prior to competing.
8. All students MUST register with the Chopin Check In Desk located in the SPSCC Minnaert Center lobby 30 minutes prior to assigned competing time.
9. Students will receive confirmation of their performance time both by phone and by email. These will be sent no later than March 1, 2017.
10. Students are NOT allowed to exchange time slots unless there is permission from competition staff. 11. Divisions: See below.
12. Warm up time should be allowed at the performance site.
13. Original scores of the music must be approved at the Festival registration desk. Photocopied music is NOT allowed per copyright law.
14. Measures must be numbered.
15. Music must be memorized
16. Any changes or omissions of the entered repertoire will disqualify the student from prize winning though they will still be allowed to play.
17. After performing, students are responsible to pick up their music from the room monitor.
18. The judges’ decisions are final. Please make every effort to stay for the announcement of winners of your division and pick up certificates and adjudication sheets. We will do our best to post the competition results in the Minnaert Center by Thursday afternoon March 23, 2017.
For the Intermediate pianists (12-15 years of age), please choose 4 (four) pieces from the following repertoire:
Any TWO PRELUDES from OP. 28(No. 4, 6, and 7 are considered a lower level Prelude but are acceptable for this competition when coupled with a Prelude of more advanced level)
TWO pieces from the following two categories:
F# Minor, Op. 6,  No. 1
Bb Major, Op. 7, No. 1
A Minor, Op. 7, No. 2  
C Major, Op. 7, No. 5
G Minor, Op. 24, No. 1
B Minor, Op, 30, No. 2
 F Minor, Op. 63, No. 2  
G Minor, Op. 67, No. 2  
A Minor, Op. 68, No. 2
F Major, Op. 68, No. 3
A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2
Db Minor, Op. 64, No. 1
C# Minor, Op. 64, No. 2  
Ab Minor, Op. 64, No. 3
Ab Major, Op. 69, No. 2
B Minor, Op. 69, No. 2
F Minor, Op. 70, No. 2, Op. Posth.   
E Minor, Op. Posth
A Minor, Op. Posth.   
Eb Major, Op. Posth.   
Repertoire for the advanced pianists (16-23 yrs of age), please choose 4 (Four) pieces from the following repertoire:
1. Two Etudes, one from each group (a & b) indicated below:
a) From Op. 10: C major No.1, C-sharp minor No.4,
G-flat major No. 5, F major No. 8, C minor No. 12;
From Op. 25: A minor No. 11.
b) From Op. 10: A minor No. 2; C major No. 7,
A-flat major No. 10, E-flat major No. 11;
From Op. 25: A minor No. 4, E minor No. 5,
G-sharp minor No. 6, and B minor No. 10.
2. One of the following pieces:
• Nocturne in B major, Op. 9 No. 3
• Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
• Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2
• Nocturne in G major, Op. 37 No. 2
• Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1
• Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op. 48, No. 2
• Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2
• Nocturne in B major, Op. 62 No. 1
• Etude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3
• Etude in E flat minor, Op. 10 No. 6
• Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 7
3. One of the following pieces:
• Ballade in G minor, Op. 23
• Ballade in F major, Op. 38
• Ballade in A flat major, Op. 47
• Ballade in F minor, Op. 52
• Barcarole in F sharp major, Op. 60
• Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49
• Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20
• Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31
• Scherzo in C sharp minor, Op. 39
• Scherzo in E major, Op. 54
Vicki Jardine Tobin, Piano Competition Liason at 
Barbara Clarkson, Sister City Association Liason at
Chip Schooler, SPSCC Orchestra Director at
1. Cell phone and pagers must be turned off at all times in the performance or concert halls.
2. Use of cameras, video or audio recording equipment is not permitted in the performance rooms.
3. Talking is not permitted in the competition rooms during the performance.
4. No small children are allowed in the competition rooms.
5. Enter and exit the performance rooms only between performances.

My Piano Camp Experience: Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

After a (traffic-filled) drive over to Leavenworth this July, I walked into the beautiful facility known as Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.  I was there for their yearly Young Pianists' Camp, a weeklong event that invites, well, young pianists from all over the state (and sometimes outside Washington) to learn and practice their current pieces in order to prepare them for the traditional recital at the end of camp.  And what an experience it was!

I can tell you, it was not all excitement in my head prior to arriving at camp.  For starters, "some random piano camp" was not exactly my idea of summer fun.  And out of the seventeen other students attending, I knew exactly zero.  "Can't I at least go with someone I know?" I would ask my mom-slash-teacher in the weeks and months leading up to our departure for camp.  Of course, she would give the classic parental answer: "You need to meet new people.  That's part of the reason why you're going!"

Even though I entered the facility with the slight intention of staying in the background and not talking unless I absolutely had to, I couldn't deny the beauty of the campus.  The modern architecture of the recital hall is set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and trees, with winding walkways throughout and a cluster of cabins nearby.  I was greeted warmly right away by the two main teachers at the camp, with whom I would be taking lessons during the week.  My cabin was a cozy space that I shared with four other girls and our counselor.

Speaking of, their choice of cabin groupings couldn't have been more spot-on: the girls I was with were all within a year of my age, and all of them were so kind!  Sure, it was harder at first (lots of awkwardly-timed conversations meant to break even more awkward silences) but by the end of the week, it was like we had known each other for years.  I cannot stop talking about what an amazing group of people they were.  That is one of the reasons why I am especially glad I went: I got to know seventeen other amazing people who also happen to be fantastic pianists! :)

An average day at camp would include two practice sessions (each an hour long) and a 45-minute lesson with one of the teachers.  Each student gets two lessons with each teacher, totaling to four lessons for the week.  And of course, there is plenty of free time!  I remember playing lots of cards during the week... one of the teachers was saying, "It's so funny.  Everyone here plays so much cards!"  But don't worry—we didn't just sit around playing cards and playing piano all day!  Every night, there was a different fun activity, from ghost stories to hide-and-seek in the theater to movie night!

And if you're one of those people who's always got food on their mind, fear not: everyone is supplied with three full meals a day, including dessert!  The caterers are also very conscious of all dietary restrictions.  If you are unable to eat part of the main meal, an alternative will be made for you! 

At the beginning of the week, I was probably the student with the most negative emotions and ideas towards the whole "piano camp" thing.  And look at me now—telling you all the reasons why I enjoyed the experience!  Sure, it might seem intimidating at first to go to an overnight camp with no one else you know, but the experience is more than rewarding.  If you need something to do next summer and a sleep-away camp intrigues you, I would encourage you to check Icicle Creek out!  Their website is :)

—Lilia Allen



NEW Lakeside Piano Studio YouTube Channel!

Just two days ago, the new Lakeside Piano Studio YouTube channel was launched!  This will be a place where we share recordings (both audio and video) of the students' work for their enjoyment and the benefit of others.  This will be a good service to the music community, as some of the pieces the students are learning are hard to find online.  A waiver is forthcoming for parents to sign before their students' work is posted.  For now, please enjoy the below sample of the channel...

Concertino No. 1: Peasant Folk Dance by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee, played by Lilia Allen