Five of North Branch piano teacher Krista Lundblad’s students performed at the Minnesota Music Teacher’s Association State Honors Concert Saturday, May 18, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Ashleigh Kroschel of Harris won the Junior A division, while Mikayla Stein of Plymouth won Junior Young Artist, Megan Whiting of North Branch was the Junior B winner, Jack Callahan of Forest Lake won Junior B and Marcus Peterson of Chisago City was the Senior A winner. Representing as alternates were Emma Troff of Cambridge (Junior B) and Christine Snell of Corcoran (Senior Young Artist).
Students from all over Minnesota had to win a piano competition at both the preliminary and state levels to be invited to perform. On stage were 20 Steinway grand pianos, and students were assigned a part of a duet to play in the concert. The concert has grown into a gala event involving 700 young performers on 20 grand pianos.
The main competition involves students learning and memorizing one piece to play in front of a judge, who gives them written comments on how they did and a score. The preliminary competition involves playing against other students who are from their area. More than 5,000 students enter the state contest annually at various sites across Minnesota.
At contest finals, the top students who were preliminary winners from all over the state compete against each other. Pianists with the highest scores in the State Piano Contest Finals are selected to perform in ensembles at the State Honors Concert in May at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The Young Artist competition is a special category of the MMTA competition. Here, students learn a program (usually consisting of three or more pieces), memorize it and play that program for two judges for comments and a score. The top students from this competition are asked to play in the concert at the Minneapolis Convention Center in the “Young Artist” category.
Lundblad has been teaching at her home in North Branch for nine years and at Maranatha Christian Academy in Brooklyn Park for 11 years. Visit www.lundbladpianostudio.com for more information.