The countdown to our Saturday June 8, 2019 Encore Piano Recital begins – just one day away! We are very excited about the new and larger venue, as well as having videographer on-site to capture all the special moments. I know many of you will be rehearsing today and tomorrow in preparation for the big day. Here are some helpful reminders and tips from class to keep in mind, for your piano performance tomorrow!
1. LOOK THE PART of a performing pianist. Walk confidently to the piano. Sit up straight on the bench and place your hands on the keys with the best handform possible – focus on having the poise of a performer. Avoid wearing runners, sportswear or jeans. Dress in your best – wear your newest or favourite dress; add a bowtie to your ensemble to spice up your outfit.
2. ADJUST THE BENCH if needed once you approach the piano – the person that performed before you may be taller or shorter than yourself! If you are using the pedal, check with your foot to see if you are sitting at a comfortable distance to reach the pedals.
3. TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE before you play each piece and after the performance. Count “5 mississipi’s” with your hands on your lap. This gives you a chance to prepare for each piece in your mind before performance. What are some of the tips your teacher gave you during your last lesson? Are there any special practice spots or things to look out for and remember?
4. When you place your hands on the piano after the moment of silence, PLAY THE FIRST LINE OR PHRASE OF MUSIC IN YOUR MIND before you begin playing. Imagine the rhythm and tempo, the mood and dynamics during while you hear the music in your head – visualization is a powerful tool!
5. TELL A STORY to the audience with your playing. Think about the title and description of the piece provided on the music. What is it about – a character? Are you painting a picture, expressing a feeling, or setting a scene? Remember the most enjoyable and impactful performances are those that tell a story because it really allows the audience to connect with the music!
6. IF YOU MAKE A SLIP, KEEP GOING and pretend it didn’t happen. The best thing to do is to just move onto the next beat, next note or even next phrase if need be. If you continue on and maintain your focus on performing the rest of the piece to your best ability, bets are – no one will even notice or remember that there was a slip.
7. TAKE A BOW after your piano performance and enjoy the applause – you deserve it!
8. Most importantly HAVE FUN! If you look like you’re having a great time at the piano, so will everyone in the audience that’s listening to you.
*Please note: The recital will begin at 6:30pm. However please do arrive 10-15 minutes prior as we will be seating the students in order of performance in the front 3 rows at 6:20pm.
See you all Saturday, June 8, 2019 in the Armenian Evangelical Church of Toronto at 2600 14th Avenue, Markham!
We couldn’t be more excited to announce and congratulate our all star line-up of 2019 North York Music Festival award winners from April and May 2019. EVERY STUDENT THAT PERFORMED IN THIS PIANO COMPETITION WON AN AWARD IN THEIR CATEGORY! This is record breaking: 7 students from Encore Piano Studios participated and brought home an astounding 10 awards!!!
Every one of these performers gave it their 100% in preparation and in spirit, when it came to presenting their music. I could see it in all the lessons leading up to the presentation; seeing them give it their all and be immersed in the music was enough! What an AMAZING bonus it was that everyone brought back an award that commemorates their great efforts and this wonderful experience.
Thank you to all the parents who were there to support the students in their preparation during class and practice, every step of the way – we couldn’t have done it without you!
I’d like to share some comments from the adjudicators on the performances of our award winning students:
“Very expressive, focused playing – bravo!”
“Fine tempo – beautifully maintained… a balanced/poised performance. Well done!”
“A fine robust style, rhythms were crisp and accurate… a lovely range of dynamics and articulation”
“Lovely singing tone in right hand, well supported by the left”
“Great work with the swing rhythm! I liked your addition of extra dynamics!… a very polished performance”
“Very sensitive performance… phrase shaping well crafted, nice!
Encore Piano Studios’ 2019 North York Music Festival Piano Competition Award Winners
1st Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 5, List A (“Minuet in G Minor” – Johann Sebastian Bach)
3rd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 5, Etudes (“Sweet Sorrow” – Johann Friedrich Burgmuller)
1st Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 4, Popular Selections (“Medallion Calls” from Pirates of the Caribbean – )
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 2, List A (“Allegretto in C Major” – Christian Gottlob Neefe)
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 2, List B (“The Sparkling Brook” – Margaret Goldston)
2nd Place Award – Piano Solo – Level 1, List B (“Red Satin Jazz” – Martha Mier)
1st Place Award – Piano Solo – Level 1, Etude (“A Swinging Leprechaun” – Mike Schoenmehl)
2nd Place Award – Piano Solo – Level 1, List C (“The Snake” – Christopher Renee)
1st Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 2, Etudes (“The Wind” – Chee-Hwa Tan)
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 2, List B (“A Little Song” – Dimitri Kabalevsky)
ALINE SARMAZIAN (1st Place Award – Level 5, List A and 3rd Place Award – Level 5, Etudes)
AREK SARMAZIAN (1st Place Award – Level 4, Popular Selections)
CAROLINE CHAN (2nd Place Award – Level 2, List A and 2nd Place Award – Level 2, List B)
JUSTIN TAM (2nd Place Award – Level 1, List B)
HAN LE (1st Place Award – Level 1, Etudes)
ELAINE AFFONSO (2nd Place Award – Level 1, List C)
YIYANG XUE (1st Place Award – Level 2, Etudes and 2nd Place Award – Level 2, List B)
I’m thrilled to share with everyone our Kiwanis Music Festival piano competition winners and participants from February 2019.
For those that may not be familiar with the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival, it is an annual musical showcase that was founded in 1944 and it’s first ever winner was the legendary musician Glenn Gould! The festival features over 500 areas of competition, including piano, choral, vocal bands, orchestras, ensembles, solo instruments and even speech arts and drama. There are over 3000 music festival entries each year and is one of – if not – the most competitive of all music festivals in the Greater Toronto Area.
Kudos to the 5 students who prepared with dedication during piano lessons and practice. They performed at the most intense piano competition of the year. Congratulations to our Encore Piano Studios award recipients!
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 3, Etudes (“Etude in D Minor” – Carl Czerny and “In the Spirit” – Christopher Norton)
3rd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 3, List B (“Sonatina in F Major, 4th Movement” – Theodore Lack)
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Level 7, List C (“Peace Country Hoedown” – Christine Donkin)
3rd Place Award – Piano Solo – Level 7, List B (“Sonatina in D Major, 1st Movement” – Muzio Clementi)
First Class Honours — Piano Solo – Level 7, List B
First Class Honours — Piano Solo – Level 2, List C
Announcements and updates for the North York Music Festival (Spring 2019) coming very soon. Stay tuned for more exciting news!
TRAVIS QUIOC (2nd Place Award – Level 3, Etudes and 3rd Place Award – List B)
DEREK LOH (3rd Place Award – Level 7, List B)
OWEN LOH (2nd Place Award – Level 7, List C)
I would like to take a moment to mention and re-congratulate some of the students that were inspired to showcase their music at the 2015 Kiwanis Music Festival last year. It is not an easy feat — getting up to perform within a formal setting in front of an audience and a panel of judges. The dedication and diligence, that was displayed by each student during preparation for their piano competition, are undeniable, as well as their passion for music and desire to share what they’ve learned.
Our 2016 piano competition winners and participants will be announced very soon. Best of luck to those that are preparing for their upcoming performances!
KIWANIS MUSIC FESTIVAL 2015
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Grade 1 – Studies/Etudes (“Relay Race” – Jon George)
First Class Honours — Piano Solo – Grade 1 – List B
First Class Honours — Piano Solo – Grade 4 – List A
1st Place Award — Piano Solo – Grade 4 – List A (“Minuet in G Major” – Christian Petzold)
2nd Place Award — Piano Solo – Grade 7 – List B (“Sonatina in C Major, 1st movement” – Muzio Clementi)
AREK SARMAZIAN (2nd Place Award – Grade 1) and JADA CARLTON (1st Place Award – Grade 4)
CURTIS CHENG (2nd Place Award – Grade 7)
Competitors or not, Piano classes have consistently shown big rewards in life for those studying the art, so while not every student in our North York Piano Studio
is actively participating in competition we do suggest it be some all students experience at least once to get full experience of their efforts.
Thanks and again congrats to everyone who made the results possible.