2020 High School Piano Scholarship Winners Announced

Maranatha Baptist University’s Music Department hosted their ninth annual High School Piano Scholarship Competition. High school students compete for 1st and 2nd place, cash awards, MBU scholarships, and performance ratings – the top rating being “highest honors with distinction.” 

Judges’ Thoughts

Because contestants did such an impressive job, the judges had plenty to say. “What a pleasure it was to hear these young pianists,” said Ms. June Brus, a judge of the competition and also a lesson provider at MBU. “Each contestant performed with a technical command of the instrument and a level of musical artistry well beyond their years.” All participants were highly commended for their thorough preparation and stellar performances.

Similarly, Ms. Janet Tschida, the competition coordinator, remarked, “This year’s performers were outstanding, and their high level of preparation was so evident by their successful performances. In this aspect, they are all winners.”

Before announcing the awards, Dr. Ledgerwood spoke to the participants about the benefits of participating in competitions. After giving his talk, the performers shared what they learned by preparing for and performing at the competition. Some of the performers shared the following thoughts:

  • How to practice more efficiently and effectively.”
  • “How to take a piece apart… every single detail.”  
  • “How to focus on communicating rather than on what the judges are thinking”
  • “How to tune out distractions by being absorbed in the music I am expressing.” 


Torrie Lemon took first place in the competition with outstanding performances of Sonata in D, K. 284, I. Allegro by Mozart and Danzas Argentinas (I, II, and III movements) by Ginastera. Lemon received an $800 MBU scholarship and a $100 cash prize. Watch a video of her performance below.

Judges awarded second place, a $400 MBU scholarship and $50 cash prize to Abigail Peterson. She played French Suite in C Minor, BWV 813, I, III, VII by Bach and Romance in G Minor, Op. 11, No. 2 by Schumann.

Hannah Ostrander performed Sonata in C Minor, K. 457, 1. Molto Allegro by Mozart and Ballade No. 3 in A flat Major, Op. 47 by Chopin. Hannah was awarded a $300 scholarship and joined Lemon and Peterson in earning Highest Honors with Distinction. 

Finally, interested contestants should register as soon as possible to secure their spot in the 2021 competition

Competition Photos