Tag: Piano

Two Lawrence University Pianists Earn First-Place Honors in State Music Competition

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.

Lawrence University Freshman Invited to Dedicate New Piano at Clinton Library

Krystle Maczka has a first-time visit to the new William J. Clinton Presidential Center in her home state of Arkansas on her spring break itinerary. The Lawrence University freshman’s visit won’t be merely as a curious tourist or interested history buff, though, but rather as an invited guest of honor.

Maczka will be one of two featured performers for a by-invitation-only event Wednesday, March 22 in the Great Hall of the Clinton Center in downtown Little Rock. The piano performance major from El Dorado, Ark., will have the honor of officially dedicating a new seven-foot Steinway Grand Piano, a gift to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton’s presidential library opened in November, 2004.

A student in the studio of Associate Professor of Music Michael Kim, Maczka will entertain an audience of Arkansas A-List guests with a recital featuring Brahms “Intermezzo in A Major, op. 118, no. 2” and Beethoven’s “Variations on ‘God Save the Queen.’” Lawrence Hamilton, a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, will also perform at the dedication event.

The honor came unexpectedly to Maczka. A friend of her father who works for the presidential library, knew she played the piano and extended an invitation to her to be the first to publicly perform on the new Steinway. The Clinton Foundation is covering all expenses for Maczka’s trip to Little Rock and is providing rooms for her and her parents at the Peabody Hotel for the occasion.