The Japanese Piano Teachers Association of Greater Sacramento music festival awarded trophies to 12 piano students from seven studios in the competition and 57 students from nine studios in Davis and surrounding areas in the evaluation during a March 9 performance in Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks.
From four piano studios in Davis, three students performed in the competition and 11 students in the evaluation. The students played a variety of compositions from Baroque, classical, romantic, 20th and 21st century, including Japanese and local contemporary composer’s works.
The JPTAG — founded in 2010 in Davis by Amy Sakabe and other piano teachers who studied music in Japan — is an educational organization with the purpose of improving teaching methods, studying and analyzing the music styles, sharing information and organizing the musical events to motivate piano students, in all levels and all ages in the greater Sacramento area.
This year’s adjudicator was Tai-Cheng Chen, who served as music professor at the Taipei National University of the Arts since 1987 and relocated in Dublin.
Chen said: “While schools provide the most fundamentals of education, teachers of JPTAG have been nourishing the fortunate youngsters with interest in music — and life can be so much richer with ex-curricular activities.
“I am excited to seeing young students, under guidance of their teachers, performing their pieces so well, and all by memory. … They are acquiring a skill that will (be with) them through their lives. Bravo to the students, teachers and parents.”
In the competition, students received first through third place and honorable mention. In the non-competitive evaluation, students received a superior plus or a superior rating. Davis’ Yuliya Monastyrska (Sakabe, teacher) was second in the 13-14 age group, Taiga Sekizawa (Huei-Ping Lin, teacher) was second in the 9-10 age group and Kaoruko Hayashi (Helen Twiss, teacher) was second in the 9-10 age group.
JPTAG 2014 piano competition results:
9-10-year-old: Owen Yang (Natsuki Fukasawa) and Devin Chang (Natsuki Fukawasa), first; Kaoruko Hayashi (Helen Twiss) and Taiga Sekizawa (Huei-Ping Chen Lin), second;
Fiona Sechrist (Shigemi Nishite), third.
11-12-year-old: Iwanka Iwanojko (Noriko Meguro), first; Emily Dong (Shigemi Nishite), second. Roger Xia (Natsuki Fukasawa), honorable mention.
13-14-year-old: Nestor Iwanojko (Noriko Meguro), first; Yuliya Monastyrska (Amy Sakabe), second; Lizel Alciso (Hitomi de la Fuente), third.
15-16-year-old: Alia Curtis (Shigemi Nishite), first; Lisa Vollmann (Shigemi Nishite), second.
JPTAG 2014 Evaluation Results:
Superior Plus: Yui Fujita, Kyoka Sato, Andrew Grizzell, Ashley Lyons, Janelle Toledo, Alexander Grizzell, Yuka Sato, Takuro Suzuki, Annabelle Lossin, Toshiro Suzuki, Sharlyn Calon, Natanya Kharat, Emily Yang, Amee Van, Adelyn Van, Akane Shimoyoshi, John Timothy Yang, Kento Shimoyoshi, Parker Van Ostrand, Madeline Grace Yang, Grover Locke, Kelsey Yang, Anna Ranario, Connie Huang, Olivia Fu, Teah Le and Tobin Le.
Superior: Jeremy Toledo, Anastasia Grizzell, Juliana Toledo, Max Maurantonio, Jack Maurantonio, Ryan Fulks, Shruti Vakharia, Anna Kharat, Meagan Ganub, Sally San, Romeo Xiong, Shunji Shimoyoshi, William Pan, Tylor Matt, Noah Eilert, Spencer Matt, Teah Le, Olivia Sagayaradj, Declan McCarthy, Zach Malaekeh, Carl Porras, Tobin Le, Vincent Li, Audrey Chen, Zachary Chen, Kaycie Armada, Paige Tabada, Hana Kingsbury, Arathi Vinod, Athira Vinod, and Tommy Lee.
Participated teachers: Keiko Bachelor, Hitomi de la Fuente, Natsuki Fukasawa, Akiko Gaffney, Huei-Ping Chen Lin, Sayuri Mulase, Noriko Meguro, Keiko Murata, Shigemi Nishite, Mariko Reeves, Amy Sakabe, Helen Twiss.