Three Lawrence University Musicians Win State, Regional Competitions

Senior Daniel O’Connor of Dallas and junior James Maverick of Baton Rouge, La., earned first-place honors in the 2011 Wisconsin National Federation of Music Clubs’ Biennial Student/Collegiate Competition.

O’Connor and Maverick were named state winners in the organ and piano categories, respectively. They each were awarded $1,000 and will advance to the national competition. National winners will be announced in April.

Junior Alexis VanZalen of Holland, Mich., earned second-place honors in the WNFMC’s organ division and was awarded a prize of $750. O’Connor and VanZalen are students of university organist Kathrine Hanford, while Maverick studies in the piano studio of assistant professor of music Michael Mizrahi.

The competition, conducted via submitted audition tape, is open to musicians 19-26 years of age in 13 categories. Students are required to perform a repertoire from memory covering a challenging range of 4-5 musical styles, depending upon the category.

Founded in 1898, the National Federation of Music Clubs provides opportunities for musical study, performance and appreciation to more than 200,000 senior, student and junior members in 6,500 music-related clubs and organizations nationwide.

In a separate competition, 2010 Lawrence graduate Susanna Valleau won the first round of the American Guild of Organists’ Regional Competition for Young Organists held recently in Rexburg, Idaho. She received a first-place prize of $200.

As a first-round winner, Valleau advances to the AGO’s Region VIII competition on July 3 in Boise, Idaho. Regional winners receive invitations to perform as a “Rising Star” at the AGO’s 2012 National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Valleau is currently pursuing a master’s degree in organ performance at the University of Washington.

The American Guild of Organists is the national professional association of the organ and choral music fields, serving approximately 20,000 members in 330 chapters throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.