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Nita Named National Finalist of MTNA; Collin Wins Rising

On January 10th, in a month jammed packed with dramatic events, our twelve year old Nita Qiu continued her journey to the National Finals of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition by winning First Place in the West Central Division (representing eight states). She will be one of just seven national finalists in the Junior Division (age 11-14). Nita will perform her 20 minute program in the finals at the National Convention of MTNA in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 21st. There will be over two thousand musicians in attendance at the annual convention. Nita is our first to ever reach the National Finals.

The following weekend on Saturday, January 10th, Collin Jinks won First Place in the regional Rising Stars Concerto Competition of the La Crosse Symphony. In fact, our studio had a trifecta by sweeping all three of the top prizes. Noah Qiu was named the Second Place winner and Gloriana Wolf won the Third Place award. Michael Tang received Honorable Mention. As the winner, Collin will be presented in concert with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, February 7th, in Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1 in C Major, first movement. The very next day, Sunday, January 11th, Collin performed in the finals of the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association (YPSCA) of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Concerto Competition at Orchestra Hall. He received theThelma Hunter Award.

Noah Chojnacki has just been named a Semi-Finalist in the Dubois Piano Competition and Festival, held in Ohio at Bowling Green State University. The semi-finals and finals take place February 13th through the 15th. In addition, Noah Chojnacki and Michael Tang have reached the Disklavier Round of the e-Junior International Piano Competition. Each of these young men made recordings at the University of Minnesota to be judged by an international panel of top artists. These judges will determine if Noah and Michael will be among the top 24 players, internationally, to come to the Twin Cities to perform in the competition in early June.

Also in January, Noah Chojnacki, Collin Jinks, and Christina Waldron were chosen, by audition, forMinnesota Public Radio’s (MPR) Minnesota Varsity’s Featured Round. Each of these three fantastic young artists will have the opportunity to make a professional recording at the renowned MPR Studios for broadcast on Classical Minnesota Public Radio. From these airings, Noah, Collin, and Christina may be chosen for a special concert at the Fitzgerald Theater at a later date. What a great and exciting professional experience for them!

This past Saturday, January 24th, we had eight participants in the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum Mozart Concerto Competition. Four of our students received Honorable Mentions: Richard Chang, Tina Li, Gloriana Wolf, and Stephanie Ye.

As always, we are trying to keep up with our beloved alumnus, Kenny Broberg. Kenny continues his brilliant showings in International Competitions by winning the Silver Metal in the coveted Wideman International Piano Competition and just returned to Houston from a major recital in Florida. Kenny will be performing the monumental Second Concerto of Prokofiev with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans on March 28th. This is the end of the same week that Nita will be in Las Vegas. Jo Anne and I will be able to attend both events. We will travel to Las Vegas to oversee Nita’s competition and then meet up with Kenny a few days later in New Orleans.

Wow! What a month!!

Yours in Music –

Joe & Jo Anne

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