BARTON COUNTY — Several students from around the county received a I for their piano performances at the state competition at Tabor College, Hillsboro in February. Those students were Melanie Maneth from Great Bend, Hannah Wilborn from Hoisington and Kaylyn Oberle from USD 112.
According to piano teacher Lorrie Stickney, these students work extremely hard to prepare for the state competition. They began practicing their piece, using classical music that is chosen to fit the strengths of the particular student in September.
Some pieces require more emotion from the student, while others are technical like Bach, said Stickney.
The piece is practiced each week until the competition in February. The piece has to be played to be true to the time period of Bach or Beethoven if those are the music chosen. The music is played from memory and has to be played flawlessly. It also has to be played with the correct style for the composer.
“It’s not an easy accomplishment when the judge has a perfect rendition in mind,” said Stickney, who teaches Maneth and Wilborn. Oberle takes lessons with Karole Erickson.
“It’s a tough competition both at state and regionals,” said Erickson. “(Students) can get disqualified really easily.”
Stickney was even prouder of her students than normal because the regional for this part of the state was very competitive as well. Students who received a II at Regional were Taylor Fry and Hannah Mosier. Taylor Huslig received a I at Regional, and a II at State.
In addition,Wilborn has received a I at state for three years. Stickney has taught for 30 years and never seen anyone accomplish that.
“They have to be so focused and handle pressure situations,” she said. “Hannah Wilborn makes it look easy.”
“She beautifully performed Wolfgang A. Mozart’s Sonata in C Major, K. 545, first movement,” said Wilborn’s music teacher, Debra Lewis, Hoisington High School.
Technology has made it easier for the students to hear professional pianists playing their music. They can listen to pianists on YouTube as an example, said Stickney.