Zhanshuo Zhang from Greer, South Carolina, and Lindsay Byrd from Waxhaw walked away from Wingate University’s sixth annual Piano Competition with the opportunity to redeem $21,000-per-year music scholarships.
Held Saturday in the Plyler-Griffin Recital Hall of the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center, the event included 12 high school competitors and nine middle schoolers.
Zhang, an 11th-grader who studies under Lisa Won Jung Kiser, earned first place with his renditions of Haydn’s Sonata in C Major, No.60, Hob XVI/50; Ravel’s, Gaspard de la Nuit, No.1, “Ondine”; and Prokofiev’s Toccata in d minor.
The second-place winner, Byrd impressed the judge with Bach’s Italian Concerto in F (Presto), BVW 971; Chopin’s Mazurka No. 3, Opus 50; and Kapustin’s Sonatina (Allegro non troppo), opus 100. Her piano teacher is Pamela Mullins.
In addition to his $21,000-per-year scholarship redeemable to study music at Wingate, Zhang won a $300 cash prize and two piano lessons from Wingate professor Dr. David Brooks. Byrd received $200 cash, in addition to the lessons and the scholarship.
Middle school winners in the competition were South Carolinians Yuchen Lin, an eighth-grader from Ware Shoals, first place; and Bryan Ouyang, a sixth-grader from Greer, second-place. Like Zhang, both take piano lessons from Kiser.
Ouyang earned a $200 cash prize and a piano lesson from Brooks for his performance of Handel’s Fantasia in C Major, HWV 490 and Mozart’s Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K330, I. Allegro moderato.
Lin played Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, Op. 23; and Beethoven’s Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, I. Grave-Allegro di molto e con brio. His first-place award included a $300 cash prize and a lesson from Brooks.
Funding for the competition was provided by generous donor Agnes Goldston, a 1970 Wingate alum, and her husband, Jim.
As they have each year of the contest, Brooks and his wife and fellow professor, Dr. Annie Stankovic, who coordinates the competition, offered constructive feedback and encouragement to all contestants. Intentionally designed to be a low-stress affair, Wingate’s annual piano competition is open to veteran competitors as well as those who have never taken part in a piano contest.
Learn more about studying piano at Wingate on the University’s website, wingate.edu.