2017 Classical Concerto Competition Winner

Maranatha Baptist University's Music Department is pleased to announce Grace Betry as the winner of MBU's 2017 Classical Concerto Competition and Justine Ostrander as the runner-up.

The Competition

During the Classical Concerto Competition, contestants perform memorized concertos from the Classical period and are accompanied by a pianist playing the orchestral reduction.

This year's adjudicator was Sarah Gehrenbeck. Gehrenbeck earned a Bachelor of Music from Boston University and a Master of Music from Indiana University. She teaches piano and organ in Whitewater and is currently working on her doctorate degree.

Gehrenbeck remarked that this year's competitors gave very strong performances, and all involved noted the great camaraderie and support among the competitors before, during, and after the competition.

The Winner

Grace Betry received first place in this year's Concerto Competition with her piano performance of Beethoven’s "Concerto No. 1," accompanied by Lorraine Yant.

Betry is a sophomore Piano Pedagogy and Performance major and member of the 2017 Heritage Singers.

Betry gives credit to her parents for encouraging her in her musical journey to this point.  “They were the ones that got me into music lessons and always drove me to practice every day,” she remarks. “Then as I got older they were the ones that helped me get ready for competitions or recitals.” Betry enjoys the integral part music plays in her life. “I can explore so many emotions from piece to piece,” she explains.

After completing her undergraduate degree at MBU, Betry hopes to get her master’s degree in Collaborative Piano. Her goal for the future is to use music and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in her hometown or in a foreign country.

The Runner-up

 Justine Ostrander, a Junior Violin Pedagogy and Performance major, received runner-up with her violin performance of Beethoven's "Violin Concerto," accompanied by Hope Ostrander.

“I’ve always loved Beethoven, so his concerto was one of the first pieces that came to mind when I decided to do the competition,” Ostrander explains. “It has a very ‘aristocratic’ flair to it, and the depths of emotion he is able to recreate throughout the piece are very enjoyable for me to play.”

Ostrander loves music because of the way she can use it to speak to people. “Music communicates on a different level than conversation does, so it allows unique opportunities to interact with people.” She credits Mr. Lewis Rosove with strongly influencing her musical journey through his private lessons. “I know that I would not be where I am today musically," she remarks,  "If it had not been for his constant motivation and encouragement to do my very best for Christ’s glory."

Ostrander plans to teach private violin lessons in the future and possibly pursue a master’s degree when she graduates.


Article written by Peter Holloway