Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will host the 36th annual Virginia Queen Piano Competition Friday, April 26, at 3 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall in Mabee Fine Arts Center. The competition is free and open to the public.
The annual competition “gives students a goal,” said Dr. Ouida Keck, coordinator of keyboard studies and Addie Mae Maddox Professor of Music. “It gives them the opportunity to see what musicians experience when entering competitions in the professional world of music once they graduate from Ouachita.”
This year, eight students will compete. Each entrant will perform two compositions of contrasting style, with a total performance time of no more than 10 minutes. They will be judged by professional pianist David Allen Wehr, a former Ouachita artist-in-residence. Wehr also will perform a solo concert at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall April 28.
The first-place winner will receive $600 and their name will be engraved next to those of the previous winners on a plaque on display in Mabee Fine Arts Center. Second- and third-place awards, as well as honorable mention awards, will also be recognized.
The competition was started by one of Ouachita’s former piano professors, Virginia Queen, who served at Ouachita for more than 40 years. The purpose of the competition is to “motivate the piano majors and minors to excel in performance,” Keck said.
Students who will be competing include: Katie Butts, a sophomore computer science major and music minor from Sao Paulo, Brazil; Jordan Denniston, a junior music major from Plano, Texas; Lauren Johnson, a freshman worship arts major from Rancho Mirage, Calif.; Sean Jackson, a sophomore music composition major from Livingston, La.; Christopher Mazen, a senior worship arts major from Shreveport, La.; Courtney Stanage, a junior piano performance major from Hot Springs Village, Ark.; Sarah Stiles, a sophomore biblical languages major and music and Christian studies minor from Aubrey, Texas; and Jillian Turner, a sophomore piano and vocal performance major from Fort Worth, Texas.
For more information, contact Dr. Ouida Keck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5352.
By Taylor Tomlinson