Two Lawrence University students finished first in a pair of recent music competitions.

A head shot of Lawrence student Sam Buse
Junior Sam Buse

Sam Buse, a junior from La Mesa, Calif., earned first-place honors in the first round of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) Regional Young Organists Competition conducted at First United Methodist Church in Glendale, Calif. He received $1,000 for his winning performance and advances to the AGO’s regional convention June 10 in Salt Lake City. The competition is open to competitors up to 24 years of age.

Competitors are required to play four selections during a 45-minute performance. Buse played the hymn “In Babilone,” Frank Ferko’s “Mass for Dedication,” J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor “Dorian” and Max Reger’s “Introduction and Passacaglia in D Minor.” He studies with university organist Kathrine Handford.

Jessica Castleberry, a senior from Dillon, Colo., won the 2017 Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA) Badger Collegiate Performance Competition conducted at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc. She received $200 for her winning performance.

The competition is open to pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists. Each is required to perform three different pieces from three contrasting musical eras.

A head shot of Lawrence student Jessica Castleberry
Senior Jessica Castleberry

Castleberry played Mozart’s “Piano Sonata’ in G major, Chopin’s “Polonaise” in F-sharp minor and Debussy’s “Images Book 1.” Maria Santos, a freshman from Princeton, N.J., and Christian Vallery, a sophomore from Hampton, Iowa, tied for second place in the WMTA Badger Competition. All three study in the piano studio of Professor Catherine Kautsky.

Castleberry is the second straight Lawrentian to win the WMTA Badger Competition after sophomore Neil Krzeski earned first-place honors in 2016.

Ming Hu, a sophomore from Changsha, China, earned honorable mention honors in the piano at the annual Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition conducted at St. Catherine’s University in Minnesota. The competition features divisions for piano, strings, brass, woodwinds and guitar. Hu is a student of Kautsky’s.

Five other Lawrence pianists advanced to the Schubert competition finals: Gabrielle Claus, Milou De Meij, Xiaoya Gao, Krzeski and Tammy Li.

Liam Mayo, a piano student in the Lawrence Academy of Music from Green Bay who studies with Lawrence Professor Anthony Padilla, won first place honors in the Schubert competition’s high school division.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.