Ouachita Baptist University junior Courtney Stanage, a piano performance major from Hot Springs Village, Ark., won first place in the collegiate division at the Hot Springs Music Club Scholarship Auditions earlier this month.
Stanage’s repertoire for the auditions included Claude Debussy’s “La Cathedrale Engloutie” and Robert Schumann’s “Novelette Op. 21, No. 1.” Having prepared these pieces last semester and performed them at her sophomore recital in March, Stanage said she entered the auditions with confidence. “I felt very prepared and have been able to fine tune a lot of things about my performance,” Stanage said.
“The contrasting styles of the pieces I performed really showed off my musical ability,” she explained. “The Debussy piece is an impressionistic piece and is very beautiful and colorful. The Schumann piece is from the romantic era and has very contrasting emotions and is also technically challenging.”
Dr. Ouida Keck, OBU’s Addie Mae Maddox Professor of Music and Stanage’s applied piano instructor, agreed, saying, “She was well-prepared technically and performed with great musicality. I think Courtney’s hard work and attention to details really stood out in her preparation and performance.”
Stanage also attributed her success at this year’s audition to her experience in the competition last year. “I think it helped me be more prepared for it this time around.”
As an additional reward, Stanage has been invited to perform her winning pieces at the HSMC Honors Recital in Hot Springs on May 12.
“I actually participated in this same recital a few years ago when I was still in high school,” Stanage said. “I remember listening to the collegiate winners perform from that year and how inspiring it was to me. I hope that I may also be an inspiration to other high schoolers who are considering pursuing music in college.”
Entries for this scholarship must be high school or college students majoring in music who are residents of Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Saline or Yell counties. According to Keck, many Ouachita students have received scholarships from this competition and she encourages other students to audition in the future “not just for the money, but for the experience.”
For more information, contact Dr. Ouida Keck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5352.
By Rachel Gregory