College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Music Students Excel At Piano Competitions

Dec. 9, 2010music students

Two piano performance majors from the University of Central Oklahoma recently took home top honors at prestigious piano competitions.  

Central sophomore Casey Cross, from Oklahoma City, won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artists' Competition for the State of Oklahoma and Central graduate student Lei Xue, from Chengdu, China, won the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Graduate Piano Competition.
For his performance at the MTNA competition, Cross chose to perform Bach's Toccata in D Major.

"The judges said I had a nice improvisational nature," said Cross.  

For her performance, Xue played Bach's Italian Concerto, 3rd Movement.

"I practiced and practiced and really worked on my musical expression," added Xue.

"Both of these students are talented, dedicated musicians whose hard work is being noticed. We are very proud of them," said Chindarat Charoenwongse-Shaw, associate professor of music and head of the piano/keyboard studies division in the UCO School of Music.    

Cross will now advance to the MTNA South Central Division competition which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas on Jan. 15, 2011. The winner from that division will compete nationally at the MTNA competition in Milwaukee, Wis.

Cross said he will spend most of his holiday break practicing for the upcoming competition.   

"Since I already have the songs learned I will be working on interpretation and cleaning up technique and polishing, polishing, polishing," said Cross.  

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