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Celebrating Talent: Announcing the Winners of the 2024 Iowa Music Teachers Association District Pre-Collegiate Piano Auditions

Marc Zyla
Marian Lee

In this episode, Marc Zyla sits down with Marian Lee to discuss the 2024 IMTA District Pre-Collegiate Piano Auditions that took place at St. Ambrose University. Marian provides listeners with a comprehensive background on the competition, including its history and structure. Organized by the Quad City Music Teachers Association, this annual event attracts students from ages 6 to 18 who compete in six different levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

Marian explains that participants are required to perform solo pieces from memory and also take a written music theory test. The theory test covers various elements such as scales, chords, intervals, and sight reading. Achieving a score of 90% or higher on the test earns students a spot on the music theory honor roll.

Throughout the episode, Marian emphasizes the importance of both technical skill and emotional connection when judging the performances. Factors such as tone, phrasing, dynamics, and interpretation are all taken into consideration by the judges. At the end of the competition, winners are announced for each of the six levels, with Marian listing the names, age levels, teachers, and hometowns of all thirteen first place winners.

Marian also delves into the benefits and challenges of participating in piano competitions. While they can serve as a motivating factor for practice, they can also lead to disappointment. She stresses the significance of the learning journey and encourages teachers to consider each student's individual goals and interests.

To wrap up the episode, Marian provides listeners with some valuable resources for those interested in learning piano. She recommends visiting the QCMTA or FMTA association websites to find a qualified teacher. Additionally, she highlights upcoming concerts, including her own performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue no.21 in Bb from The Well-Tempered Clavier on the upcoming Quad City Symphony Orchestra Masterworks V concert set.

2024 Honorees (Instructor included in parentheses)

LEVEL A Results (through 9 years old):

Winner: Malia Saito (Nora Reiter)

1st Alternate: Kaelyn Pettersen (Roberta Quist)

Honorable Mention: Angela Benhart (Nora Reiter)

LEVEL B Results (10-11 years old): 

Winner: Jocelyn Jiang (Roberta Quist)

Winner: Harry Richards (Roberta Quist)

1st Alternate: Henry Jewell (Roberta Quist)

2nd Alternate: Parker Luszczyk (Roberta Quist)

Honorable Mention: Brayden Isaacson (Roberta Quist)

Honorable Mention: Sophie Johnson (Roberta Quist)

Honorable Mention: Mason Vervaecke (Olivia Gonzalez)

LEVEL C (12-13 years old):

Winner: Brendan Kiel (Marian Lee)

Winner: Paige McMann (Roberta Quist)

1st Alternate: Emma Isaacson (Roberta Quist)

2nd Alternate: Anders Sommer (Laura Crumbleholme)

Honorable Mention: Sage Carney (Roberta Quist)

Honorable Mention: Eugene Chan (Marian Lee)

Honorable Mention: Camille Hayes (Richard Sessler)

LEVEL D (14-15 years old):

Winner: Alex Jones (Laura Crumbleholme)

Winner: Madeline O’Malley (Roberta Quist)

Winner: Annabelle Pettersen (Roberta Quist)

1st Alternate: Ishika Motwani (Laura Crumbleholme)

2nd Alternate: Carter Luszczyk (Roberta Quist)

3rd Alternate: Jeremiah Rodgers (Anne Johnson)

Honorable Mention: Zander Panek (Laura Crumbleholme)

Honorable Mention: Claire Pfeiffer (Laura Crumbleholme)

LEVEL E (16-17 years old):

Winner: Zach McMann (Roberta Quist)

1st Alternate: Jonathan Rice (Marian Lee)

Honorable Mention: Sabrina Richards (Roberta Quist)

LEVEL F Results (17-18 years old):

Winner: Jack Stremlow (Marian Lee)

1st Alternate: Molly Isaacson (Marian Lee)

Honorable Mention: Joslynn Ovel (Marian Lee)

Quad-City Music Teacher Association
2024 Iowa Music Teachers Association District Pre-Collegiate Piano Audition Honorees

Marc Zyla joined WVIK, Quad Cities NPR in May 2022 as the Director of Community Engagement. Prior to that Zyla had been the Director of Education and Community Engagement with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where he continues to perform as Principal Horn. Zyla believes that there is something for everyone in public radio and brings passion and creativity to his position as Director of Community Engagement.