Category: Honors and Accomplishments

WMTA Badger Auditions

Several Academy students participated in the WMTA State Badger Auditions on May 18, 2013. Congratulations to winners at the event including Alicia Zhang, Colin Mayo, Brian Zhou, Charles Wu, Marc Padilla and Christina Hanson, and runners-up Reagan Blohowiak and Grace Flaherty, all from the studio of Larisa Topolkaraeva. Receiving an Honorable Mention were Katherine Jeng, Philip Buchman and Pierce Blohowiak from Ms. Topolkaraeva’s studio and Payton Fors from the studio of Catherine Walby.

The winners and runners-up performed on the winners recital held at the end of the day.

Academy to Join The Achievement Program

The Lawrence Academy of Music has recently decided to join The Achievement Program, sponsored by Carnegie Hall and The Royal Conservatory, as a Founding School.  This will give students and parents one more option when it comes to personalizing instruction and setting goals.  Both theory and performance programs are available.  To learn more, please visit:

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity in person, please join us at one of two parent meetings run by the Regional Director of The Achievement Program:

Saturday, January 5, 1:00 pm


Saturday, January 5, 3:30 pm

Both meetings will take place in Shattuck Hall 156 in the Lawrence Conservatory (classroom behind the Chapel).  This will be your opportunity to ask questions about the program.

The Academy has also applied to be an assessment center.  We need approximately 25 assessments this coming May to run the site; existing sites in Wisconsin are in Eau Claire, Hartland, Racine, and Watertown.

If you are interested in learning more about The Achievement Program, please join us on January 5thRSVP if you plan to attend:  920-832-6632.

Bel Canto Girl Choir Places Second in National Competition

The Lawrence Academy of Music‘s 56-member Bel Canto Girl Choir, the high school component of the Academy’s 330-member Girl Choir, earned second-place honors in the 2012 national American Prize in Choral Performance competition.

Conducted by the Connecticut-based Hat City Music Theater, Inc., the American Prize supports national competitions for the best recorded performances of music by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels.

Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music and the Girl Choir program, submitted more than 30 minutes of music culled from a variety of the choir’s recent performances for the national competition.

“We are thrilled to have earned this recognition, particularly as it is named the ‘American Prize.’” said Bruno. “The Academy Girl Choir program is proud to represent the Fox Cities and Wisconsin with this award. Our singers hail from a wide geographic area, attend public, parochial and home schools, and have families representing a wide range of income levels. Our scholarship program ensures that access to the Academy Girl Choir program is available to any girl who wishes to participate.  We are truly a cross-section of our community; we are the Fox Valley’s girl choir program. On behalf of our singers, sincere thanks to the parents, teachers, and community members who have supported us for more than 20 years.”

The Girl Choir program provides quality choral opportunities for more than 300 girls throughout the Fox Valley region. Through the study and performance of the highest quality music, girls develop vocal technique, musical skills, creativity, expressive artistry, and an awareness of various cultures.  The Girl Choir program strives to create an atmosphere that encourages girls to respect the uniqueness of others, to take risks that foster individual growth and to continue their development into self-assured young women.


Music Camp Students Awarded Scholarships

Emily Marcus and Alex MacRogers were recognized recently with Lawrence Academy of Music Camper of the Week Scholarships. Jackie Page was awarded the Lawrence Academy of Music Recital Full Scholarship and the runner-up award for the recital scholarship was awarded to Paige Owen.

The Camper of the Week scholarship, the camp’s top award, is presented to two participants in the summer music camp and entitles Marcus and MacRogers to a full scholarship as resident campers for the 2013 camp.  The Camper of the Week scholarship is awarded to the student who best demonstrates leadership, good attitude and is respectful and helpful to the staff and their fellow campers. This award is based on voting from the entire camp staff, faculty and counselors. In addition to the individual award, the Lawrence Academy of Music also awarded an additional full scholarship for another student in the band program at each winner’s school to attend next summer’s camp.

The recital scholarship winners are chosen by a panel of faculty from the academy, and are based upon the technical difficulty of the piece, expressivity and maturity of performance.  Jackie Page, flute, performed the Adagio and Allegro from George Frederic Handel’s Sonata No. III in G Major to win the full scholarship as a resident camper for the 2013 summer camp. Paige Owen, alto saxophone, performed Ryo Noda’s Improvisation I to win the runner-up half scholarship as a resident camper for the 2013 summer camp.

Bel Canto Named Semi-Finalist in The American Prize

Bel Canto, the high school level choir of the Academy Girl Choir program, has been named one of three semi-finalists  for the Youth/High School choral division of The American Prize in Choral Performance, 2012.

 The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances of music by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually.

Youth Competition Winners Announced

The Fox Valley Music Teachers’ Association Young Artist Festival and the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Soloist Competition are pleased to announce winners in their recent events. Both competitions offer young musicians a performance experience, judge’s written comments and an opportunity to compete for cash prizes. Congratulations to all Academy of Music students who participated and to the following award winners:

Fox Valley Symphony Youth Soloist Competition,  January 14, 2012

2nd place:  Alicia Mose, student of Samantha George

Finalist:  Paige Erickson, student of Yuliya Smead


Young Artist Festival, February 4, 2012

Junior String Competition

1st place:  Nathan Mose, student of Miyoko Grine

2nd place:  Ana Knighten, student of Janet Bond Sutter


Junior Piano Concerto Competition, Grades 6-7

2nd Place:  Samuel Mast, student of Catherine Walby


Young Voice Competition, Grades 10-12

1st Place: Claire Powling, student of  Carol Jegen

2nd Place: Emily Ament, student of  Carol Jegen

LAM Student Selected to Play in WMTA Master Class

Kaylann Adler, fifth-grade student of Larisa Topolkaraeva, was selected to play on a master class with Kevin Olson on October 29th.  The master class will take place during the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association’s annual conference, held this year in Wisconsin Dells.  Kaylann will play “Green” from Olson’s Sonatina in Colors.  Mr. Olson is an active pianist, composer, and member of the piano faculty at Utah State University, where he teaches piano literature, pedagogy, and accompanying courses.  He also directs the Utah State Youth Conservatory, which provides weekly group and private piano instruction to more than 200 community students.  Congratulations to Kaylann and Ms. Topolkaraeva on this accomplishment!

Piano Festival 2011

Over 180 students participated in the Lawrence Academy of Music Piano Festival on April 30, 2011.  Following performance auditions and theory tests, the winners were chosen to perform in Harper Hall at Lawrence University on May 8, 2011.  Congratulations to these young people and their teachers for their outstanding effort!

Winners, Grades K-1

Mateo Timm (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Emma Song (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades K-1

Drew Pollard (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Winners, Grades 2-3

Alicia Zhang (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Ryan Caracci (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Margaret Kuzin (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Gabriel Smith (Melanie Richeson, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 2-3

Ellie Dimmer (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Katherine Jeng (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Gabrielle Medema (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Oscar Pollard (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Krithika Senthil (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Tracy Wang (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Winners, Grades 4-5

Pierce Blohowiak (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Kristina Jeng (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Reagan Blohowiak (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 4-5

Kaylann Adler (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Ximena Lazcano (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Rachel West (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Winners, Grades 6-7

Luke Moss (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Marc Padilla (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Charles Wu (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Quinton Nenning (Nina Elworth, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 6-7

Ben Bomier (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Clare Christopher (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Valerie Newhouse (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Daria Van De Loo (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Winners, Grades 8-9

Bridget Flaherty (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Tina Tsou (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Anna Crosby (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 8-9

Charlotte Burton (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Frankie Beach (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Charlie Morley (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Winners, Grades 10-12

Cody Goetz (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Joanne Zhou (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 10-12

Grace Flaherty (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Alyssa Graves (Cheryl Davis, teacher)

Sarah Heywood (Karen Heywood, teacher)

Brandon Li (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Lawrence Academy of Music Named Friend of the Orchestra

On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, the Lawrence Academy of Music was named the 2011 “Friend of the Orchestra” for the Appleton Area School District.  The award, presented by superintendent Lee Allinger, was given in recognition of the high-quality, long-term support Academy teachers have provided to AASD string teachers and students.

The Academy was recognized at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center during the All-City String Festival.  The festival featured more than 700 AASD string students, many of whom are also LAM students.   Karen Bruno, Academy director, thanked the district’s school board and administrators for its ongoing commitment to high-quality string instruction in every school.  Academy teachers Janet Bond Sutter, Caroline Brandenberger, and Susan Sullivan were present during the recognition and joined Bruno on stage to accept the award.

Congratulations to Academy teachers on this wonderful recognition!

Academy Names Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2009 Encore Award Winners:

Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO)
Alexa Stodola
Jacob Burich

Symphonic Band
Ashley Baken
Bryce Gerrits

Wind Ensemble
Cameron Jones
Emily Herman

The Academy presents the encore award annually to two members from each instrumental ensemble: Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and the Academy String Orchestra. Winners, chosen by the ensemble conductors, demonstrate consistent effort and contribution to the ensemble, exemplary attitude, evidence of musical growth over time and the potential for leadership in coming years. Each receives a certificate for $200 Academy tuition credit that the student may use for private lessons, summer camps, or ensembles.