Two Lawrence University students earned first-place honors at the Wisconsin Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Piano Competition held Saturday, Oct. 24 at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown.
Michael Smith, a senior piano-performance major from Davis, Calif., won the Young Artists division (19-26 years of age), while Jonathan Gmeinder, a freshman from Hartland, won the Senior Performance division (16-18 years of age). Both are students in the piano studio of Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky.
With their winning performances, Smith and Gmeinder both advance to the MTNA’s five-state East Central Division regional competition January 15-17 at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Winners of the regional competitions advance to the WTNA’s national competition in Albuquerque, N.M., next March.
Smith performed works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schulhoff and Schumann, while Gmeinder played works by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. This is the second state music competition title for Smith, who shared first-place honors in the 2008 state Neale Silva competition sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.
Lawrence sophomore Marshall Cuffe also participated in the MTNA state competition, earning honorable mention recognition.
Smith became the 10th Lawrence piano student in the past 12 years to win the Wisconsin MTNA competition’s Young Artist division.