10/29/17 - Young pianists compete in Junior Artist Piano Competition held by S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

GREENVILLE, SC - Thirty-seven young pianists from across South Carolina competed in Greenville at the 5th Annual Junior Artist Piano Competition, presented by the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and sponsored by the Bichel Foundation.

"With a record number of entrants, this year's level of talent was off the charts," said Dr. Stephen Taylor, Governor's School Music Department chair. "There were major talents among the top prize winners, and even within those not selected as winners. It was a thrilling day!"

Caleb Borick, a tenth-grade student from Charleston, received the grand prize of $1,500, for his performance of Chaconne in D Minor, BMV 1004 by J.S. Bach-Ferruccio Busoni, and Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52, Allegro, by Franz Josef Haydn. Borick is a pupil of Joseph Rackers. The second-place prize of $1,000 went to tenth-grade student John Wang, from Greenville, who is taught by Kuo-pei Cheng-Lin. Seventh-grade student Zak Chen, from Florence, received the third-place prize of $500.

The following six students received honorable mentions: Lauren Chen, from Irmo; Jason Guo, from Hanahan; Benjamin Kellogg from Myrtle Beach; Reed Kurtz from Summerville; Lily Lassiter from Charleston; and Danika Yang from Greenville.

The Junior Artist Piano Competition began in 2012 as a way for the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and the Bichel Foundation to feature and support aspiring professional pianists throughout South Carolina. Participants in grades 7-10 perform a memorized program of works for up to twenty minutes, and then receive written comments and feedback from an esteemed panel of judges. This year's panel included world-renowned professional pianists Martin David Jones, a music professor at Augusta University; Paul Nitsch, a professor of music and Macavity Artist-in- Residence on the faculty of Queens University; and Clara Park, also on faculty at Augusta University.

Dr. Taylor, also a professional pianist, leads the Music Department at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, which offers pre-professional piano training to rising 9th and 10th grade students through two-week summer programs, and 10th through 12th grade students in the residential high school program. Students receive individual lessons each week, attend master classes with guest artists, and work in teams to learn and perform master works from piano ensemble literature. They also gain experience performing solo and in ensembles for multiple recitals and special events throughout the year.

The Governor's School is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 residential high school and summer programs. Any student who is a resident of South Carolina and in 6th-10th grade is eligible to apply to the various programs.