Carrie Brown, a junior piano performance major at Ouachita Baptist University, was named the Arkansas State winner in the Piano Category of the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Student/Collegiate Auditions, held Feb. 7 at Henderson State University.
Brown, from Knoxville, Ark., will receive a $200 prize and was invited to perform at the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs state convention in Jonesboro, Ark., in April.
“I was really nervous before they announced the winner,” Brown said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be named a winner or not, but when they called my name I was really excited.”
A full recital of music including compositions from the baroque, classical and romantic periods, an etude and a significant American composition was required of all entrants in the piano category.
“It takes dedication and a strong desire to perform in public,” said Dr. Ouida Keck, OBU professor of music and Brown’s piano teacher. “Carrie’s program was about 30 minutes long. She will be performing the same program at her junior recital on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. in McBeth Recital Hall.”
“I started taking piano lessons from my mom when I was four and a half years old,” Brown said. Her mother was a music education major at OBU and also took lessons from Dr. Keck.
Dr. Keck “doesn’t let me settle for mediocrity—she pushes me to do what she knows I’m capable of, and when I start slacking off she tells me about it,” Brown said. “She’s a really good pianist and performer, and it inspires me to be really good.”
Dr. Keck won this same competition on the state and divisional levels when she was a student at OBU. “Carrie is a very talented pianist with a great deal of musicality,” Keck said. “She is an excellent sight-reader and does a lot of accompanying. I expect Carrie to make many contributions in music, possibly as a church musician and strong piano teacher.”
Brown, who is currently the accompanist for the Ouachita Singers, also is a vocalist and a cellist.
For the next step of the competition, Brown will record a CD that will be judged at the divisional and national levels.
by Genevieve Horton