Lee University School Of Music To Present 10 Competitors During Piano Festival

Friday, June 14, 2013

As part of its ongoing piano festival, Lee University's ninth annual piano competition for high school students will showcase 10 different performers beginning Monday. 

The competition from June 20-22 will conclude the week-long festival of concerts and professional instruction. Of the festival’s 20 participants, 10 students will showcase their skills in the competitive format. Malechi Doren, Vanessa Meiling Haynes, Adrian Liao, Cynthia Liu, Evelyn Mo, Makito Otsuka, Phoebe Pan, Maria Parrini, Trenton Takaki and Allison To will compete for cash and scholarship prizes in the competition.

The official opening of the piano competition will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Squires Hall, located in Lee’s Humanities Center.  At the conclusion of Friday’s round, finalists will be selected for the Saturday morning phase of the competition. These finalists will perform an entirely new program for the judges, and prizewinners will be named directly following the final round. The 10 competitors are vying for a grand prize of $3,000 cash.

Malechi Doren is a senior from Lexington, S.C. He has won full scholarships to Western Michigan University's Seminar and the summer program at Interlochen. Doren placed in the 2009 and 2010 Elnora Hartman Stickley Competition, the 2009 GVSU Modern Competition, and the 2010 DePauw University Young Artist Competition. He has also won prizes at the Columbia Music Clubs Scholarship auditions. Doren studies with Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers. 

Vanessa Meiling Haynes, 16, studied at the pre-college division of The Central Conservatory of China. She received the Junior Young Artist Scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni. She has won the 2012 Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists and the 2012 Worcester Young Artists Music Scholarship Competition. Haynes studies with Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.

Adrian Liao, 14, is a freshman from San Diego, Calif. Liao made her concerto debut with the San Diego Symphony at age 11 and will be touring with the Seraphim Symphony performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in August.  She recently won first place in Goodlin Scholarship in San Diego. Liao currently studies with Yi Dong at the Opus119 Conservatory in Southern California.  She has also performed in Carnegie Hall as a violinist in 2012. 

Cynthia Liu, 16, studies piano with Elena Arseniev and Thomas Mastroianni in Rockville, Md. Liu has won first place in the 2011 MTNA Maryland State Senior Division competition, fourth place at the 2012 Blount-Slawson Concerto Competition in Montgomery, Ala., and Grand Prize of the 2011 Frederick Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. She played as soloist with the Frederick and the Montgomery County symphonies and has performed at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C., and the Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Evelyn Mo, 14, is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Oak Hill, Va. She has been studying piano with Thomas Mastroianni since 2009. Mo has won first prizes at the 2013 Leschetizky Foundation Gifted Young Pianist Concerto Competition, 2013 Friday Morning Music Club High School Piano Competition, 2013 WMTA Lichtenberg Competition, and 2011 Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, Conn. She also performed with Camerata New York at the Merkin Hall in New York City.  

Makito Otsuka, 16, began playing the piano at the age of six. His teachers have included Iwasaki Sensei, Monica Noveanu, Lucia Markovich, and Jan Bis. At the age of seven, Otsuka received a special jury award for his performance within the Bach festival in Romania, 2005. He was also the winner of the 2010 Junior Buckeye auditions, district level in Northeast Ohio. Otsuka has performed in masterclasses for Sean Schulze and Robert Cassidy.

Phoebe Pan, 15, has appeared as soloist with the South Coast Symphony, Los Angeles Bach Festival Orchestra, Seraphim Symphony, and the Mount Orchestra. She has performed at Weill Recital Hall and Steinway Hall in New York City. Pan has won the first prize at the Dubois Piano Competition, Grand Prize at the Tureck International Bach Competition for Young Pianists, and Silver Medal at the Bösendorfer & Schimmel International Piano Competition. Pan studies with Yi Dong at the Opus 119 Conservatory in California. 

Maria Parrini, 16, has won the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition, the SC MTNA Junior Piano Competition, and the Carolina Youth Symphony Concerto Competition. She has performed with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra, among others. Parrini attended the Brevard Music Center, Southeastern Piano Festival, and the Philadelphia International Music Festival. She studies piano with her parents, Sherry and Fabio Parrini.

Trenton Takaki, 18, studies with Sueanne Metz in Wilmette, Ill. Recently, Takaki won first place at the Lee Piano Competition and third place at the Dubois Piano Festival. He has also won the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the Chopin Youth Piano Competition, the Young Artists Piano Competition at De Pauw University, and the Cardinal Stritch University Piano Festival. Takaki will be attending Indiana University to pursue a double major in piano performance and biology.  

Allison To, 12, received silver medals at the 2011 Virginia Warning International Piano Competition and the International Russian Music Piano Competition. She was the youngest prize winner at the 2012 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition. To gave her concerto debut with the Seraphim Symphony in 2012 and has performed at the Weill Recital Hall and Yamaha Salon in New York City. She studies with Yi Dong and Ariel Yang at Opus119 Conservatory in Irvine, Calif.

For more information on the Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, please contact the Department of Instrumental Music at 614-8264, music@leeuniversity.edu or visit http://www.leeuniversity.edu/academics/music/piano-festival/.


Helen DeVos College Of Education Celebrates Student Teachers

The Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee University celebrated the accomplishments of its student teachers with a banquet in the Centenary Room on Lee’s campus. Student teachers, cooperating teachers and supervisors enjoyed the evening sharing the semester’s experiences with each other. Speakers for the evening included Cameryn Byrd, Lauren Suits, Jonathan Berry and Jared ... (click for more)

Lee University Named To President’s Service Honor Roll Once Again

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced that Lee University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, once again receiving recognition for its commitment to bettering the community through service. “Receiving this honor indicates that our students and faculty are engaging in transformative service with our community ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Fire Causes $30,000 In Damages At Scenic City Concrete

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported structure fire shortly after  10 p.m. Thursday  at Scenic City Concrete Pumping, located at 2903 South Orchard Knob Avenue. Captain Donny McMillian with Engine 9 said smoke was visible when the first firefighters arrived. Captain McMillian said the firefighters had to force their way through a locked gate and into ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)