Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter May 2016

Temecula Young Artist Piano Competition

On May 14, our studio had 14 students participate in this year’s Temecula Young Artist Piano Competition. I am extremely proud and happy to announce that out of 18 prizes that were awarded, 10 winners are from our studio!

Here’s a list of the students that won:

Lucas Schaefer – First Place, 3rd grade and under, 

Kristen Law – Third Place, 3rd grade and under,

Emma Erickson – First Place, 4th to 6th grade, 

Ally – Second Place, 4th to 6th grade, 

Shania Jin – Third Place, 4th to 6th grade, 

Cheryl Tan – Honorable Mention, 4th to 6th grade, 

Hudson Erickson – Third Place, 7th to 9th grade,

Hunter Erickson – Honorable Mention, 7th to 9th grade,

Fiona Harley – Honorable Mention, 7th to 9th grade,

Meijke Balay-Mickelson – First Place, 10th to 12th grade 

(Meijke got accepted into a seven week summer program at the Princeton campus, all expenses paid. It is a rigorous scholarship program and only one hundred people nationwide get chosen for it!)

Congratulations to all!


Southern California Junior Bach Festival

On May 15, our studio had 5 students participate in the Southern California Junior Bach Regional Festival. They represented Temecula as Branch Winners. They were Shania Jin, Ally Negulescu, Fiona Harley, Emma Erickson, and Claire Howard. Special  congratulations to Emma, who has been selected as a Regional Winner, and will advance to the Complete Works Audition in the state finals. Emma also performed at the Steinway Festival Winners Concert on May 11, and will make her Carnegie Hall debut on May 30!

Royal Conservatory Music Development Program

The following students will be participating in the upcoming RCM Spring exam session:

Preparatory A – Elizabeth Shepherd

Preparatory B – Nadia Cioffi

Level 1 – Lucas Schaefer, Steven Zhang

Level 2 – Lily Corse

Level 3 – Mira Oflus

Level 4 – Elsa Long

Level 5 – Claire Howard

Level 8 – Jeffrey Kim

Level 9 – Kelly Rausch

Level 10 – Meijke Balay-Mickelson

Good luck to them!


Student of the Month – Koralynn Gagucas

Hello my name is Koralynn Gagucas, I am 10 years old and a 4th grader at Lisa J. Mails Elementary School. I started playing piano when I was 6 years old. I really enjoy playing piano because piano lets me express who I am as a young girl through music. I tend to be shy at times but when I play piano my shyness goes away. I love to learn new compositions to play for my family and friends. Besides playing piano, I play travel basketball for the “Rising Stars” as a Guard position. On my free time I enjoy baking, going to the beach to jump waves or camping to fish and make s’mores. Most importantly, I enjoying just being around my mom, dad, big brother and little sister.


Teacher comment – Koralynn is a sweetheart. She started as a complete beginner, and has made consistent progress over the years. She has participated in the National Piano Guild Auditions every year. She is a great example of how every child can succeed. Piano study provides a lifetime hobby and the Guild provides achievable goals for growth and enjoyment. Teaching Koralynn reminds me of why I am a piano teacher in the first place – to instill love of music for a lifetime. Well done, Koralynn and keep up the great work!



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