Announcing the 2023 Piano Commencement Contest Winner

Maranatha’s Music Department has announced the winners of this year’s Piano Commencement Contest. Besides separate contests for instrumentalists and vocalists, pianists had their own contest to develop their presentation and performance skills. Mr. Daniel Birnschein adjudicated the contest.


In first place, Allie Morken won with her performance of Polichinelle in F# minor by Rachmaninoff. Morken is a Music Major with concentrations in Early Childhood and Piano Pedagogy.

For winning first place, Morken will earn a $100 cash award. Along with the Instrumental and Voice Commencement Contest winners, Morken will perform at a showcase on Friday, April 14, at 5:30 p.m.


In second place, Emma Bateman won with her performance of Rhapsody in B minor by Brahms. Bateman is a Music Major with concentrations in Piano Pedagogy and Arranging.

After the competition, Birnschein commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed hearing such wonderful talent on a wide variety of styles of piano music. The top two performers played extremely challenging music at a very high musical level.”


Mr. Daniel Birnschein holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education as well as a Master of Music in Church Music with an emphasis in composition from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. A sought-after professional musician, he serves as the principal trumpet of the Wisconsin Philharmonic and second trumpet of the Milwaukee Ballet orchestra. In addition to performing, Birnschein teaches trumpet for MBU and Birnschein Musical Services.