The event was established nearly 30 years ago by Virginia Queen, a former Ouachita piano professor. She established the competition to encourage piano students to excel.
“The competition helps motivate students to practice harder,” said Dr. Lei Cai, associate professor of music, “and also helps develop their self-confidence and stage presence.”
The competition is held for music majors and minors. There will be eight students competing this year including Caroline Dunlap, a sophomore piano performance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Sean Jackson, a senior music composition major from Milton, Fla.; Lauren Johnson, a junior music major from Little Rock, Ark.; Zhanxiu Lu, a freshman music major from Shaoxing, China; Courtney Stanage, a senior piano performance major from Hot Springs Village, Ark.; Blake Turner, a freshman music major from Fort Worth, Texas; Jillian Turner, a senior music and vocal performance double major from Fort Worth, Texas; and Josh Wilkinson, a junior worship ministry major with a minor in music from Heber Springs, Ark.
Each student will play two contrasting pieces in the classical repertoire.
“The students will be judged on how polished their pieces are, not necessarily on the difficulty level,” Cai said. “The pieces they will perform are pieces they have been working on for their studies.”
For more information, contact Dr. Lei Cai at email@example.com or (870) 245-5140.