<![CDATA[INFINITY MUSIC STUDIO - Blog]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 01:18:36 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Introducing The Northeast Texas Piano Festival 2O17]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:42:11 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/the-northeast-texas-piano-festival-2o17
We are excited to invite you to participate in a brand new piano competition for piano students from all around the Northeast Texas area. After much planning and input from a number of local music teachers, we are pleased to inform everyone about what we truly hope will be a quality competition for all ages and levels of advancement.
 
The Whatley Center for the Performing Arts at Northeast Texas Community
College
has graciously allowed all of the East Texas piano teachers and their students to use their facility for the competition. Please refer to the PDF file attachment for the musical selections chosen for this year's contest. We hope that everyone will find something to their liking as the competition judges have endeavored to include a variety of musical styles, historical periods, and composers to choose from.

We have listed the sources from which these musical selections were chosen, but you may also use other sources as long as it contains the original versions. Original copies must be presented to the judges. No xerox copies are allowed. Music should be memorized with the exception of duets for which the original sheet music may be used. The duet competition division, Division lV, will be comprised of any One Piano Four Hands duet of your own personal choice.
 
The competition will be held on April 8th, 2O17. Cost per student will be $14 and is non-refundable. Entries should be postmarked no later than March
17th, 2017. To submit an entry form, please send a self-addressed envelope and enclose a 3 x 5 index card with the student's name, the teacher's name, the email addresses for both the student and the teacher, the division and the song title to be performed along with the entry fee and mail to the following address:
 
Sherry Hudnall
32 FM 21
Pittsburg, Tx, 75686
 
lf email notification is not a dependable option, then please include a mailing address on the entry form. Depending on the number competing, we plan to begin judging at 9:00 am and conclude by noon. Judges will select the top six performances in each division to participate in a "Finalists' Recital" at 2:00 pm. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in each division. Should you have any questions, contact Sherry Hudnall at 903-767-0003 or Sandra Goldsmith at 903-767-1103 or send an email to the following address: sherryhudnall@yahoo.com.
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<![CDATA[The Wideman Piano Competition Finals]]>Mon, 16 Jan 2017 06:52:28 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/the-wideman-piano-competition-finals
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Photo Credit: http://shreveportsymphony.com/
WILLIS-KNIGHTON MASTERWORKS SERIES
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017—7:30 PM 
RiverView Theater
Shreveport, Louisiana
Michael Butterman, Conductor

 
The final round of the Wideman Competition will be an evening of incredible piano music featuring three different piano concerti performed by the finalists with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, concluding with the live announcement of the 1st place gold medal winner! Be sure to join your fellow audience members in choosing an audience favorite while the judges confer.

  • Alison Chiang, Eastman School of Music (from New York), Brahms: Concerto No. 1 in D minor
  • Tzu-Yin Yuan, University of Michigan, (From Taiwan) Barber: Piano Concerto
  • Chloe Zhang, The Juilliard School (from China), Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 3 in D minor
 
Competition Awards and Prize Money

1st Place Gold Medal                                  $5,000
The William Peyton Shehee & Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award
The Gold Medalist also will win several orchestra performances, engagements and recitals with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,  the Emmett Hook Center Texas Street Artist Recital Series in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Noel Foundation, Inc. Chamber Music Series also in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Downtown Piano Works Fine Arts Series in Frederick, Maryland and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Illinois.

2nd Place Silver Medal                                 $3,000
Given by Alice & John Frazier (in memory of Genevieve & Carlton Frazier) and Martha & Bill Smith.

3rd Place Bronze Medal                              $1,500
The Magnolia Award given by the family of Marilyn Johnson King

There are still a few tickets available for the final competition being held on Saturday January 28th, 2017 starting at 7:30pm. You can select and order your tickets online by going to this link: Shreveport Symphony Tickets.
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<![CDATA[The 2017 UT Tyler Piano Skills Festival]]>Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:54:13 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/the-2017-ut-tyler-piano-skills-festival
UT Tyler School of Performing Arts
3900 University Blvd. 
FAC 2211
​Tyler, TX 75799


The UT Tyler Piano Skills Festival is an annual two-part festival in which pre-college students have the opportunity to earn ribbons, medals and trophies for their participation and excellence in the areas of functional piano skills and piano performance, while also being able to perform in the UT Tyler Braithwaite Recital Hall on a Steinway & Sons Concert Grand Piano.

The festival will be a two-part event with functional skills isolated from repertoire performance. Part 1 will include the functional skills of technique, harmonization and sightreading. Part II will include a performance of two solo selections. Solo repertoire must be memorized and music may be used for collaborative works. Students will receive a critique sheet and ribbons immediately following their performance on each day of participation. 

By including technique, harmonization and sightreading in a piano festival, students will have more incentive to develop these important skills. When students gain experience and confidence in their creativity and learning abilities, they will be more likely to continue to play the piano at home and in informal social settings after lessons cease. More advanced pianists with strong functional and performance skills will also be better prepared for college scholarship auditions and employable for the many accompanying positions available in local churches, competitions and schools. 

2017 Festival Dates
  • Part I: Functional Skills
    Friday, January 27
    Saturday, January 28


  • Part II: Performance Skills
    Friday, February 24
    Saturday, February 25
 
  • An Outstanding Musicians Recital will be held in Braithwaite Recital Hall on Saturday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m. Outstanding Musician Awards will be given at the conclusion of this recital, and a reception will follow. 
Application Materials
  • Registration Deadline: December 9, 2016
  • Entry fee: $30
  • Please download the 2017 SkillsFest Book for entry form and festival guidelines.
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<![CDATA[33rd Annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition]]>Fri, 11 Nov 2016 01:03:21 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/33rd-annual-young-texas-artists-music-competition
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Photo Credit: http://www.ytamc.com/
March 9-11, 2017
Crighton Theatre
236 North Main Street
Conroe, TX

 
The Young Texas Artists Music Competition is an official music competition of the State of Texas. YTA was created by the Montgomery County Performing Arts Socety in 1983 as an effort to encourage excellence in young musicians and to further artistic growth throughout the state of Texas. The Young Texas Artists Music Competition (YTA) has been showcasing and supporting the state's rising classical music stars for over three decades.
 
Competition Requirements
 
Each candidate will be judged by the highest artistic standards in regard to musicianship, technical proficiency, selection of repertoire, stage deportment and artistry. Formal attire is required only for the finals. All selections must be performed from memory.

Candidates must provide one copy of each selection for the panel. Scores should be unmarked except for measure numbers. No photocopies will be permitted without expressed written permission from the publisher. Scores must not be labeled with names of candidates or teachers. The judges will choose which excerpts of your repertoire they would like to hear, including repertoire for the final round of competition.
 
Final Round
 
Finalists’ performances are limited to 12 minutes. Candidates should edit their longer pieces to the time constraints of the concert Saturday evening. One movement of a concerto or other work may be edited for the finals, although preliminary rounds require that the entire work be prepared.
Formal attire is required for the final round of competition. Formal attire shall be tuxedo or white tie and tails for men and formal gowns for women. Regular suits and long ties are not considered formal attire for men and will not be permitted. Candidates not wearing the required formal attire will not be allowed to compete in the final round.
 
Repertoire Requirements

Voice Competitors
Three selections of contrasting style in the original key, selected from standard opera, oratorio, cantata, or songs with orchestral accompaniment. Two selections must be in the original language. A third selection of the candidate’s choice may be performed. All selections must be performed from memory.
 
Piano Competitors
 
A complete concerto or any other major work for solo instrument and orchestra. One movement from a Beethoven Sonata. If the candidate chooses to play one of the Beethoven concerti to fulfill the concerto requirement, another solo of contrasting style and period should be chosen.
 
All selections must be performed from memory.
 
Application Deadline is Wednesday, December 31st, 2016, 11:59 p.m CST. 
Go Here for a complete list of contest rules and application information.
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<![CDATA[Power On Music Conference Oct 19 in Corpus Christi]]>Tue, 04 Oct 2016 23:46:12 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/power-on-music-conference-oct-19-in-corpus-christi
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Graphic Credit: http://gov.texas.gov/music/
State Representative Todd Hunter, the Texas Music Office and the The Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) along with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College are pleased to announce the 2016 Power On Music conference at 8 a.m., Wednesday, October 19th. 

The free, day-long conference will feature panel discussions from Texas music industry leaders and is aimed at promoting the importance of the music industry in Texas.

Mathew Knowles, father of pop music superstar Beyoncé and former manager of Destiny’s Child, will be the keynote speaker during the lunch hour. Knowles left his career in the medical-systems sales division at Xerox Corporation to create a music company and manage his daught
er Beyoncé’s career. Other speakers will include Grammy Award nominee El Dusty and popular Texas Country Music artist Jake Ward.

“The music industry contributes to the economy of this state and it is important to both celebrate it and recognize its value,” State Rep. Todd Hunter said. “We are happy to host this event in Corpus Christi and work with the Governor’s Texas Music Office to showcase some of the Texas music industry’s top leaders.” 

Some of the topics to be discussed include: Forming Music Friendly Communities, Training for Careers in the Music Industry and Funding Ideas for Start-ups, An Exploration of Careers in the Music Industry and Tips for Getting Your Foot in the Door.

“We sincerely appreciate Rep. Todd Hunter and staff, the City of Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Del Mar College, and the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau’s work toward developing and highlighting the South Texas Coastal Bend music community,” said Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony. “This unique day-long event kicks off the first of, what we hope, are many similar regional music industry conferences spotlighting the state’s music businesses, allowing our industry leaders to network, as well as providing educational opportunities for students and music business entrepreneurs.”

This event is free, but registration is required. You can go to http://poweron.tamucc.edu/ to fill out the registration form.

For more information about the Power On Music conference contact Angie Flores at (361) 695-2048 or aflorestx@me.com.
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<![CDATA[ The William E. Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition]]>Fri, 09 Sep 2016 23:21:41 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/-the-william-e-schmidt-youth-vocal-competition
It’s almost time for the William E. Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition. This nation’s premier youth vocal competition is based at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The competition occurs in fifteen locations throughout the United States awarding over $150,000 dollars in prizes and scholarships! As part of the competition, the students will be able to participate in a master class with an expert panel of judges and world renowned singers. The competition is a wonderful educational experience and is sponsored by the William E. Schmidt Foundation based out of Sarasota Florida.

The Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition is open to accomplished young singers who are currently in their sophomore, junior or senior year in high school. As part of its mission, the Schmidt Foundation encourages youth in the arts and provides support and inspiration to our next generation of artists. The Schmidt competition, now in its thirtieth year, has impacted the lives of over 5,000 youth throughout the country and annually provides scholarships for over 120 students. Student competitors have gone on to gain entrance into the world’s finest music schools and include winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Competition, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Competition and the National Opera Association Award.

The Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition is currently accepting applications for all of its 15 regional locations. The application deadline is two weeks before the competition date at each of the listed locations. Baylor University in Waco, Texas will be judging competition applicants starting on October 8, 2016. You can click here to see a complete list of all the other competition locations and dates.
 
Competition Eligibility Rules
High school sophomores, juniors, or seniors recommended by their choral directors or vocal teachers. Singers are only allowed to enter one Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition per competition season. To be eligible for cash prizes, contestants must be United States citizens and supply a social security number.  Participants are required to pay a registration fee  of $45 after submitting their application.  An application will be considered complete when both the fee and private teacher recommendation have been received.  For special financial consideration, please make requests to Benjamin Smolder, Director at smoldebw@miamioh.edu.

Competition Repertoire
Applicants must be prepared to present three (3) musical compositions from standard "classical" vocal literature representing different periods and styles, for example, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic or Contemporary Art Song. One selection may be from Broadway theatre repertoire. All of the song selections must be memorized as well. A professional accompanist will be selected and provided for the competition by the Schmidt Foundation. (No individual, personal accompanists may be used.) The singer will not have the opportunity to rehearse with the pianist in advance of the competition. Singers will need to provide one (1) copy of printed music that is clear and easy to read for each of their songs. Please make sure that your music is complete and not missing the bass clef.  The printed music should be in a binder, double sided and well marked. It is not necessary to send your music in advance of the competition. It should be brought with you on the day of the competition.

For additional information you can visit schmidtcompetition.org or contact:
Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition
109 Presser Hall
501 South Patterson Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056
schmidtcompinfo@gmail.com
Telephone: (513) 529-3046
Fax: (513) 529-3027
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<![CDATA[The 66th Wideman International Piano Competition Will Be Held at Centenary College of Louisiana]]>Sat, 27 Aug 2016 04:41:05 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/the-66th-wideman-international-piano-competition-at-centenary-college
The 66th Wideman International Piano Competition will be held Friday through Sunday, December 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2016 at Centenary College-Hurley School of Music in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Wideman International Piano Competition, which began in 1950, has been held annually the first weekend of December, at Centenary College-Hurley School of Music.

Outstanding pianists from throughout the United States and foreign countries and from major music schools have been attracted to the Competition. Nationally and Internationally known concert pianists and conductors are chosen to be the judges.

Eligibility Rules

All Contestants must be at least 18 years of age and not older than 28 years of age by December 4, 2016, and they must also be residents of or currently studying in North America.

Competition Repertoire

A contestant may select any piano concerto on the approved list contained in the application form online which may be accessed here. The audition recording must be of the same concerto you plan to play in the competition. All concertos must be memorized. A non-refundable application fee of $100.00 is required in advance. If requested on the application form, an accompanist will be provided by the Competition for an additional $100, paid directly to the Wideman Piano Competition upon notification of competitor selection.

Make checks payable to:
Wideman Piano Competition
1200 Meadowbrook Road, No 39
Jackson, MS 39206

Applicant/Contestant Checklist

- Submit Application, the $100 fee, required documents, photo, and your performance web link no later than Oct. 14, 2016
- Receive notification of acceptance by Oct. 28, 2016 (and pay $100 accompanist fee if applicable)
- Preliminary Rounds will be on Dec 2 and  Dec 4, 2016  (40 contestants)
- The Final Round will be on Dec 4, 2016 (5-8 contestants) 
 
Competition Awards and Prize Money

Gold Medal                                  $5,000
The William Peyton Shehee & Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award
The Gold Medalist also will win several orchestra performances, engagements and recitals with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,  the Emmett Hook Center Texas Street Artist Recital Series in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Noel Foundation, Inc. Chamber Music Series also in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Downtown Piano Works Fine Arts Series in Frederick, Maryland and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Illinois.

Silver Medal                                 $3,000
Given by Alice & John Frazier (in memory of Genevieve & Carlton Frazier) and Martha & Bill Smith.

Bronze Medal                              $1,500
The Magnolia Award given by the family of Marilyn Johnson King

Honorable Mention                   $1000

Special Awards (2-4)                  $500
Given by Mrs Pearla T Despot and additional Special Awards are provided by the Glenda Lee Harrison Fund and the Marilyn Willis Fund, both of The Community Foundation.

For assistance or further information, contact 
Lester Senter Wilson, DMA
Executive Director
(Office) 318-286-4008      
E-mail:
widemanpiano@widemanpiano.com
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<![CDATA[Practicing Scales And Arpeggios Is Very Important]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 02:06:48 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/practicing-scales-and-arpeggios-is-very-important
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Practicing scales and arpeggios, especially with regards to a pianist’s ability to play pretty much any genre of music, cannot be over emphasized.  Many pianists agree with me that including scales and arpeggios in your daily practice routine is the most efficient way to hone and transform both your technical and expressive skills to a higher level of mastery.  Not only that, but when you practice scales and arpeggios on a regular basis, it also improves your hearing, pitch recognition, knowledge of musical theory, musical patterns and your understanding of tonalities and harmony.

The best way to go about practicing scales and arpeggios is to first start out by learning and practicing (with separate hands) both the major and the minor scales (in the treble and bass clef).  Then, after you are able to play all of the scales (without making mistakes) with both of your hands together, you can move on to learning and playing all of the arpeggios.

For those of you who might not be familiar with scales and arpeggios, here is a brief description of these two technical exercises.
  1. scale is a series of music notes within an octave, that follow a specific pattern of whole steps, half steps (8 whole steps and half steps, in which the first and last notes of the series are the same), and sometimes thirds. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, and a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale. Some scales contain different pitches when ascending than when descending. Take minor scales for example.
 
  1. An arpeggio is a broken chord whose notes are played sequentially, instead of being played all together simultaneously. Broken chords are used in numerous musical compositions. Arpeggios are often times used in etudes, and in quite a good bit of piano repertoire, but usually are included at a more advanced level. When playing arpeggios, you are able to produce a harp-like sound by spreading out a chord, played note by note (or broken), over one or several octaves.

Practicing and playing scales and arpeggios is also a great form of mental training. It improves your ability to concentrate and focus on any particular task at hand and it also increases your self awareness.  To help you out with learning along the way, I have included a list of the Major scales and the relative Minor scales (along with the correct fingering notation).

Here is a list of arpeggios to play in all Major and Minor keys as well (Start out with exercise number 41). Numbers 21 through 40 are part of Hanon’s Virtuoso Exercises which will help you to build finger independence and strength.  Number 39 includes the 12 Major and Minor scales in two octaves.

It is very important to always practice and learn how to play your scales and arpeggios by starting out at a very slow pace (especially in the beginning). If you are a beginner with no prior knowledge of scales and arpeggios, it is best to start out by learning to play one or two scales, like C Major and G Major before learning any of the other scales. As luck would have it, the fingering pattern is the same for the C, G, D, A and the E Major scales. Here are some additional good reasons for practicing this way:
 
  • This gives you the opportunity to study both your hand and fingering positions along with the shape of your fingers.
  • It allows you to be precise in timing and intensity and make sure that your hands are playing precisely together.
  • You will develop finger strength and agility by stretching just like you would develop by doing dance or yoga exercises.
  • This also develops strength in the upward motion of your fingers which is essential for consistency of length of notes.
 
Remember that consistency is key when it comes to learning practically any and everything. This recommendation is  also of utmost importance when it comes to practicing scales and arpeggios. With consistent and careful practicing of scales and arpeggios, not only will you end up becoming a much more proficient piano player, but you will also be able to add much more expressiveness, personal emotions and selective dynamics to help further enhance your musical performances.

Below is a video of the concert pianist, Robert Estrin, from Living Pianos, explaining why practicing scales and arpeggios are so important. 
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<![CDATA[Here Are the Winners of the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition  ]]>Sun, 26 Jun 2016 19:02:13 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/here-are-the-winners-of-the-seventh-cliburn-international-amateur-piano-competition
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Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/
Two doctors and a strategy consultant walked away with top honors at the 7th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Fort Worth, Texas yesterday afternoon. The competition was hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation, named after the world renowned American pianist who was a child prodigy from Kilgore, Texas.
 
Thomas Yu, a 38-year-old periodontist from Calgary, Canada, won the first place award of $2,000 along with the non-monetary Audience and Press awards this past weekend at the seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael Slavin, a 65-year-old retired ophthalmologist from Manhasset, New York, won the $1,500 second place award. Xavier Aymonod, a 40-year-old strategy consultant from France was the $1,000 third place winner.

This is not the same professional Cliburn competition for young pianists whose main intent is to eventually launch international careers as professional concert pianists. These contestants are amateur pianists who have careers, but they don't play or teach piano for a living. This particular piano competition celebrates the making of music as a vital part of a person’s everyday life.

The Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition first began in 1999 and is held every four years. Eligible applicants must be at least 35 years of age or older who do not make their livings as pianists or piano teachers. This year’s competition had 159 applicants, ranging from software engineers and physicians to stay-at-home moms.
 
By the last day of the competition on Saturday, six finalists remained. Seven additional $500 prize awards were also presented. These were limited to other pianists who did not win one of the top three prizes. The winners were announced by this year’s jury chair Olga Kern, one of two gold medalists from the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the young professionals contest which is also held every four years. Below is a video recording of the final round that was held prior to the awards ceremony.
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<![CDATA[12th San Antonio International Piano Competition]]>Wed, 11 May 2016 04:14:58 GMThttp://infinitymusicstudio.net/blog/12th-san-antonio-international-piano-competition
June 5 – 12, 2016
Trinity University Ruth Taylor Recital Hall
San Antonio, Texas
 
The San Antonio International Piano Competition, founded in 1983, is dedicated to providing an enriching musical experience for San Antonio and South Texas audiences while offering a challenging but inspiring opportunity to promising young pianists.
 
This year’s competition is limited to pianists between the ages of 20 and 32. The San Antonio International Piano Competition provides significant cash awards through a series of daily concerts given by twelve semi-finalists, five concerts by finalists, and a final Winners’ Recital.
 
For each competition a work is commissioned by a major composer. All semi-finalists are required to learn the commissioned work, which then will be performed by the five finalists.
 
In addition to the awards for first, second and third place, there are awards for the best performance of the commissioned work, and for works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th-21st century eras, as well as of a Russian work and a work by a Spanish, Latin American or Impressionistic Composer. The winners of all of these awards will perform at the Winners’ Recital on Sunday, June 12, 2016.


COMPETITION WEEK
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Opening Concert 
Recital by LO-AN LIN
San Antonio International Piano Competition Gold Medalist 2012

 
The 2016 Competitors will draw for their competition performance order.
 
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Semi Finals
Round One begins
 
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Semi Finals
Round One concludes
Round Two begins
 
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Semi Finals
Round Two concludes
Announcement of winners of Best Performance Awards
and Five competitors to advance to Final Round
 
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Final Round
Announcement of winners of Best Performance Awards
and Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Winners
 
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Winners Recital
 
Visit the SAIPC website at www.saipc.org for more detailed information.
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