Piano students of the Clara Woolley Music Studio, Plymouth, presented a recital, on May 23, in the Ancilla Domini Chapel, comprised of a sampling of their memorized programs they played for the annual National Guild of Piano Teachers Auditions (achievement test for piano students) that took place, May 20, at the Clara Woolley Music Studio.

After the recital, Clara Woolley presented each student with certificates and pins recognizing their achievement level and years of participation.

Two students earned the Composer’s Award for composing advanced, original works that they presented at the recital: David Tepes, “Gumdrop Factory”; and Xinlang Fan, “Sentimental Waltz.”

Xinlang Fan, Max Marohn , and David Tepes earned the prestigious 15-piece International Award for memorizing 15 pieces of advanced music, comprising approximately 45 minutes of playing from memory. 

Playing in the recital and receiving awards were:

Giovanni Baca, 3 years; Liliana Baca, 3 years; Xinlang Fan, 7 years; Leighton Lee, 1 year; Max Marohn, 3 years; Olivia Zheng, 1 year; all of Plymouth; Marcus Houin, 4 years; and Matthew Houin, 3 years, both of Bremen; David Tepes, 7 years; and Grace Tepes, 2 years; both of Grovertown; Connor Gal, 6 years, South Bend; and Emilia Aram, 1 year, Winona Lake.

The purpose of the National Guild Auditions is to establish standardized goals and awards – through noncompetitive auditions – for students of all levels.  Students are judged on individual merit, by a well-qualified music professional, in the areas of accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, tone, interpretation, style, and technique. The goal is to encourage growth and enjoyment through the study of piano.

Professional musician Peggy Coppler, Roann, judged each student’s piano playing, marked their report cards, and wrote helpful comments. Coppler has taught piano for more than 30 years in her own studio and music in public schools at levels K-9. She serves as music coordinator/organist at Grace United Methodist Church, Kokomo. Earning her bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and master’s degree from Ball State University, Coppler also studied voice with Lynn Luciano at Indiana University and Denise Ritter Bernardini at the University of Toledo. Currently, she sings with the Madrigal Singers, Wabash, and the Bach Collegium, Fort Wayne.

Each year more than 100,000 piano students participate in the Guild Auditions at over 800 audition centers worldwide, playing about 180,000 music pieces, adjudicated by about 1,000 professional musicians who travel farther than 6,000 miles.

Photo: David Tepes (left) and Xinlang Fan (right) composed advanced, original works and earned the Composer’s Award of the National Piano Playing Auditions. Tepes, Max Marohn (center) and Fan memorized 15 pieces of advanced music, approximately45 minutes, and earned the International Award.

Article provided by Mary Jo Findley