A record fifty-seven young pianists competed for over $8000 in prizes at the 2nd Annual Festival for Creative Pianists on April 25-28, 2002 at the Albertson College of Idaho (now College of Idaho) Langroise Performing Arts Center in Caldwell, Idaho.
Albertson College's piano competition and festival is designed to discover and reward students who are generally age 12 to 18 and show remarkable talent and creativity. This year, however, the big winner was 10-year-old Stephanie Sherwood from Boise, Idaho. Stephanie was the youngest student to compete. In the end, though, she won the highest amount of award money -- a grand total of $1,600. Stephanie impressed the judges with her original piece entitled "Kitty Kalliope," her creative embellishments on a Scarlatti Sonata, as well as advanced works by Bach and Mozart.
Stephanie won First Prize in two categories: "The Sylvia Hunt
Award for Best Demonstration of Embellishing and/or Improvising in a Classical Work ($1000)" and the "Most Creative and/or Versatile Treasure Valley Pianist ($500)." She also placed as a finalist in the Digital Proficiency category ($100 Gift Certificate from Treasure Valley Music). To top it off, Stephanie's teacher, Gay Pool of Boise, won the "Creative Teaching Incentive Award," the only festival prize that is awarded to an outstanding piano teacher. Pool is Piano Director for the Idaho Suzuki Institute and has given Stephanie piano lessons for six and a half years.
Three other students won First Prize in two categories ($1000 total):
1) Lauren Barney (age 15) of Mesa, Arizona, won the "J.A. Winther Best Original Composition" and "Best Digital Piano Proficiency" awards, along with a Dunkley Music Digital Finalist award (music software from TimeWarp Technologies). Lauren was the only student to win three First Prizes in last year's piano festival. She studies with Manuela Pagano.
2) Ted Yamamoto (age 17) of Caldwell, Idaho won the "Dunkley Music Best Idaho Pianist" and the "Music Matters Arrangement or Transcription" awards. Ted studies with Arthur Houle.
3) Keenan Reesor (age 18) of Logan, Utah, won the "Best Chopin" and "Best Pre-Baroque or Baroque" awards. Keenan studies with Gary Amano.
Two more Amano students won First Prizes: Jonathan Coombs, age 18, from Fruit Heights, Utah ("Best Impressionistic/Contemporary," $500) and Aram Arakelyan, age 18, from Armenia and now living in Logan, Utah ("Most Lyrical Pianist," $500). Aram also won an Honorable Mention for his stunning arrangement of Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" -- a copy of "A Pianist's Guide to Transcriptions, Arrangements, and Paraphrases" by Maurice Hinson (donated by Indiana University Press).
Ruth Belliston, age 16, of Smithfield won big in the "Jazz/Pop/Rag" category -- $1000 -- with her sparkling rendition of "Jazzy Repetition," an original work accompanied on a second piano by her teacher, Kathleen Lloyd. Rounding out the Logan area winners were Jessica Frandsen, age 14, of Richmond, a student of Betty Beecher whose original cadenza earned the "Best Concerto Cadenza" award ($500) and Jessica Roderer, age 13, of Wellsville, student of Laura Zisette, who was awarded the "Best Classical or Romantic" prize of $500.
Other Utah winners were Joshua Wright, age 14, of Sandy, student of Dr. Susan Duehlmeier ("Welch Music Most Versatile Pianist," $500) and Anarie White, age 15, of Richmond, who won big in the Honorable Mention arena (Finale software, worth $600, donated by Coda Technology) for her original composition, "A Touch of Polyphony." Anarie studies with Ralph van der Beek.
Nyle Matsuoka, age 17, of Twin Falls, Idaho, student of Linda Aufderheide, won the "Soroptimist Best Female Composer" award ($500 scholarship toward music study) and Joshua Archibald-Seiffer, age 14, of Boise, Idaho, student of David Tacher, won the "Caldwell Fine Arts Best Treasure Valley Pianist" award ($200 Cash plus Season Tickets for 2002-2003).
Finally, Honorable Mention or Digital Finalist prizes were also awarded to the following students:
• Weston Arnold, age 17, of Sparks, Nevada, student of Sonnet Johnson.
- Prize: Henle Edition of Clementi Sonatas.
• Alyson Barrett, age 15, of Fruit Heights, Utah, student of Susan Duehlmeier.
- Prize: Autographed copy of "TEMPERAMENT: The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle" by Stuart Isacoff, published in November of 2001 by Alfred Knopf. Donation by Stuart Isacoff.
• Emily Black, age 16, of Nampa, Idaho, student of Robyn Wells.
- Prize: 'Women and Music," book, edited by Karin Pendle. Donation by Indiana University Press.
• Michael Bowers, age 17, of Emmett, Idaho, student of Anne Counsil Burkholder.
- Prizes: (1) Special prize: French made Adjustable Artist Piano Bench with Music Storage. Donation by Winther Music of Boise.
(2) Autographed copy of "The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and The Eight, " book by Robert Rimm, published by Amadeus Press. Donation by Robert Rimm.
• Todd Carney, age 14, of Eagle, Idaho, student of Serena Mackey.
- Prize: Gift certificate for the Roastere in Caldwell, Idaho. Donation by Gordon & Dana Hiatt.
• Natalee Lowe, age 14, of Boise, Idaho, student of David Tacher.
- Special prize: Ultra Adjustable Artist Piano Bench. Donation by Winther Music of Boise.
• Andrea Richards, age 18, from Nampa, Idaho (now studying in Logan, Utah), student of Ralph van der Beek.
- Prize: "Performance Practices in Classic Piano Music," by Sandra Rosenblum. Donation by Indiana University Press.
• Chad Spears, age 16, of Boise, Idaho, student of Geraldine Harrison.
- Prize: Gift certificate for Dunkley Music of Boise. Donation by Dunkley Music.
• Jennifer Wang, age 14, of Boise, Idaho, student of Carroll Meyer.
- Prize: Henle Edition or Clementi Sonatas.
Raffle prizes were awarded to students, teachers and the general public
Joshua Wright: "The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher" by Uszler, Gordon & McBride.
Lucas Stringfield: "John Salmon Plays Brubeck" CD
Scott Alward: metronome
: Sergey Schepkin CD
• General Public
Nancy Payne: 2 Sergey Schepkin CD's
Betty Ann Campbell: 2 free tickets to Darryl Schoenborn & Orchestra concert at the Nampa Civic Center.
All participants also received a Participation Certificate, a complimentary copy of "Piano Today" (courtesy of Stuart Isacoff), and at least one other item, such as a CD.
The judges for the festival were Dr. John Salmon of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; Dr. Scott McBride Smith, co-author of "The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher," and Stuart Isacoff, Editor of "Piano Today" magazine. The judges and directors gave presentations
on April 27th.
Pianist Sergey Schepkin, hailed by the American Record Guide as "the major Bach interpreter of his generation," performed in recital
a splendid array of works by Bach, Debussy, Chopin and Rachmaninoff on April 26th.
Thanks to our 2002 festival contributors
A hearty thanks to the many "behind the scenes" people whose tireless work helped make the festival a great success: Phyllis Morey, Sylvia Hunt
, Darryl Schoenborn, David Tacher, Julie Harris, Paulette Richards, Kim Hovren, Myako Yamamoto, Azam Houle, Lynn Stubblefield, Pam Crawford, Jeannie Harrold, Amanda & Gloria Costa, Kathy Swenson, Shirley Taylor, Aubrey Bower, Glenda & Kathlena Waller, Jenni Kroll, Janet Folster, Lou Roehr, Nancy Payne, Marianne Saunders, Geraldine Harrison, Michael Johnson and Steve Grant.
Thanks also to the many sponsors and contributors, notably Treasure Valley Music/Yamaha, the Soroptimists, Winther Music, Music Matters, Dunkley Music/Technics, Welch Music/Roland, Caldwell Fine Arts and Caldwell Thursday Musicale.