Lawrentians win first place in piano, vocal competitions

Erty Seidel

Six Lawrence students won first
place honors in two recent musical
competitions. The Wisconsin Music
Teachers National Association Piano
Competition took place Saturday,
Oct. 24, and the National Association
of Teachers of Singing competition
was held Nov. 6-7.
At the MTNA Piano Competition,
Michael Smith, a senior piano
performance major from Davis,
Calif., won the Young Artists division,
which includes artists 19-26
years of age. He performed works
by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schulhoff
and Schumann. Smith is the 10th
Lawrence piano student in the last
12 years to win the award.
Also at MTNA, Jonathan
Gmeinder, from Hartland, Wis., took
first place in the Senior Performance
division, which includes artists 16-18
years of age. Gmeinder played works
by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.
Smith and Gmeinder were invited
to the MTNA’s five-state East
Central Division regional competition,
held Jan. 15-17 at the University
of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. A win
there will place them in the MTNA
national competition, held in March
in Albuquerque.
Sophomore Marshall Cuffe also
competed at the MTNA state piano
competition, earning an honorable
mention award.
The NATS vocal competition
was held Nov. 6-7 at UW-Eau
Claire. Thirty-five Lawrence students
attended with eight of those making
it into the final round. As many as
345 singers from around the state
competed in 20 divisions, separated
by gender and skill level.
Erin Bryan, from Appleton and
a student of Professor of Music
Patrice Michaels’, took first place in
the women’s sophomore division.
Taking first place in the women’s
junior category was Sara Brannon
from Houston, Texas. Brannon is a
student of Professor of Music Ken
“Every Lawrence student I heard
was on top of their game,” said Sara
Brannon about the vocal competition.
“I think the thing that made us
stand out the most was our graciousness
and support for each other.”
Brannon is a vocal performance and
choral and general music education
double major.
Men who won first place
awards were Patrick MacDevitt
from Marquette, Mich. in the junior
division and Evan Bravos from
St. Charles, Ill. in the senior division.
MacDevitt studies voice with
Assistant Professor of Music Steven
Spears, and Bravos is a student of
Ken Bozeman’s.
Evan Bravos, also a vocal performance
and choral and general music
education double major, said, “I feel
accomplished about this year’s success.”
Bravos is planning on attending
graduate school for performance.
“There is always something to be
focusing on,” he added.
Vocal competition winners were
awarded $150. Second- and thirdplace
finishers received $125 and
$100, respectively.