Brianna Foster, center, holds a piano camp scholarship she earned at the PianOlympics competition March 16 at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church. The certificate was presented by Lewis Spivey, a registered piano technician. With them is Mary Ruth Johnson, Foster's piano teacher. Also receiving a piano camp scholarship was Sadie Page, a student of Kim Handley.
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Brianna Foster, center, holds a piano camp scholarship she earned at the PianOlympics competition March 16 at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church. The certificate was presented by Lewis Spivey, a registered piano technician. With them is Mary Ruth Johnson, Foster's piano teacher. Also receiving a piano camp scholarship was Sadie Page, a student of Kim Handley.

Young musicians earn PianOlympics honors

From Contributed Reports

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Local music students earned honors earlier this month when the Rocky Mount Piano Teachers Association held its annual PianOlympics competition March 15 at Church of the Shepherd.

This year’s competition drew 101 piano students, representing 14 area teachers. Each student performed two memorized compositions and was evaluated in one of seven levels according to musical accomplishments.

The judges were Al Hyde of Nashville, Casey Whaley of Wilson and Marie Willett of Raleigh.

Teachers entering students were Pam Cameron, Lawrence Goering, Mary Ruth Johnson, Peggy King, Tom Parker, Joni Smith, Angie Ruffin, Betty Jo Turner and Joan Vick, all of Rocky Mount; Lydia Bardin and Kim Handley of Wilson; Sally Moseley of Tarboro; and Heather Simon and Barbara Valentine of Nashville.

First-, second- and third-place winners and honorable mention students were chosen from each level and were presented in an honors recital March 16 at Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church. The winners were given awards following the recital.

Following the competition, students were given the opportunity to compete for summer music camp scholarships given by Lewis Spivey, a registered piano technician in Rocky Mount. The winners of those scholarships were Brianna Foster and Sadie Page.

Now in its 29th year, the competition was started in 1985 by Thelma Sasser and the late Gene Featherstone, who were piano teachers in Rocky Mount.

This year’s chairs were Mary Ruth Johnson, Tom Parker and Lawrence Goering

The winners and their teachers are:

Level 1

  • First place: Gavin Bauer – Bardin
  • Second place: Isabel Marsigli – Simon
  • Third place: Kimberly Garcia Martinez – Goering
  • Honorable mention – Shelton Honey – Bardin; Kate Hoskins – Bardin; Reed Luper – King

Level 2

  • First place: Ana Katherine Weeks – Goering
  • Second place: Ezra Moore – Parker
  • Third place: Kylar Wiggins – Vick
  • Honorable mention: Meghan Dial – Goering; Frankie Snell – Moseley

Level 3

  • First place: Eden Curtiss – Goering
  • Second place: Sarah Radjail – King
  • Third place: Mae Crews – Goering
  • Honorable mention: Jake Johnston – Parker; Josh Maze – Bardin; Katie Moss – Goering

Level 4

  • First place: Brianna Foster – Johnson
  • Second place: Lillie Medlin – King
  • Third place: Abby Fritsch – Simon
  • Honorable mention: Abigail Newcomb – King

Level 5

  • First place: Isaiah Eckenwiler – Bardin
  • Second place: Anna Davis – Valentine
  • Third place: Suzanne Mosley – Bardin
  • Honorable mention: Keren Harper – King

Level 6

  • First place: Matthew Young – Moseley
  • Second place: Spencer Carney – Johnson
  • Third place: Zachary Richardson – King
  • Honorable mention – Seth Davis – Valentine

Level 7

  • First place: Kate Hanson – Bardin
  • Second place: John Osborne – Bardin.