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Winners and Honorable Mentions for the 2017 Musical Club of Hartford Evelyn Bonar Storrs High School Piano Competition

Piano Competition Winners

1st Place winner:
Julius Shieh
Concert performance piece: Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809. Sonata in E minor, Hob.XVI:34: I. Presto

First Place in the Piano Competition was awarded to Julius Shieh, a ninth grade student at Avon High School and a student of Stanford Online High School.  Since 2016 he has studied piano with Margreet Francis at The Hartt School Community Division (HCD), and since being at HCD, was selected to perform in the HCD’s Piano Department’s Honors Recital.  He was also awarded the Watson Morrison Scholarship Award.  In 2016, he was a winner of the Virtuoso Pianists Competition, The Hartford Music Teachers Alliance.  Julius has been playing piano for over eight years.  At the MCH Winners Concert, Julius will perform Joseph Haydn’s Sonata in E minor, Hob.XVI:34.

2nd Place winner:
Saomai Nguyen
Concert performance piece: Alberto Ginastera,  1916-1983. Danzas Argentinas: I. Danza del Viejo Boyero; II. Danza de la Moza Donoza; III. Danza del Gaucho Matrero

Second Place in the Piano Competition was awarded to Saomai Nguyen, a junior at Hall High School in West Hartford. Saomai is both a pianist and clarinetist.  She has studied piano with Tamila Azadaliyeva at The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) since the third grade and clarinet with Dawn Matthews since fifth grade. Last year she also joined Curt Blood’s clarinet studio. Saomai has placed multiple times in the CSMTA Select Student and Audrey Thayer piano competitions.  She has also performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. With clarinet, Saomai has been active in honors ensembles such as the CMEA northern Regional and All-State bands and orchestras.  This year she will participate in the NAFME All-Eastern festival. At the MCH Winners Concert, Saomai will perform Alberto Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas.

3rd Place winner
Rachel Li
Concert performance piece: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: I. Allegro.

Third Place in the Piano Competition was won by Rachel Li, an “A+” sophomore at Brookfield High School. Rachel started piano lessons with Felicia Zhang, then became a pupil of Margarita Nuller in 2013.  By age 12, Rachel passed the Royal Conservatory Achievement Program level 7 and 8 for both piano performance and music theory with Excellence Awards.  In 2014, she won 1st Place in the 7th grade section of the 35th Audrey Thayer Piano Competition, and in 2015, Rachel was awarded 1st Place in the Elementary/Middle School section of the 38th Renee Fisher Piano Competition.  She also attended the MNTA junior piano competition, and was awarded 3rd place in the Connecticut state competition.  Rachel will be performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3: I. Allegro at the MCH Winners Concert.

Honorable Mentions were awarded to :

Caroline Ma, Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, CT, Grade 10, Teacher: Margreet Francis, Hartt Community Division
Noah Yoon, Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT, Grade 11, Teacher: Malgosia Lis, Hartt Community Division)