Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Pianists' forte is supporting each other

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A group of students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts huddled before the awards ceremony for the World Piano Competition at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Monday.

Though some were competing against each other, they offered one another encouragement and support.

Five of the school's students were among 37 young pianists out of nearly 150 from around the world who made it to the finals after weekend performances - an impressive feat for one school.

Finalists will play in a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York.

"SCPA is somewhat special," said World Piano Competition staff member Ralf Ehrhardt.

"It's the only school that sends that many students." SCPA had nine students in the first round, which began in February.

The students credit their teachers as well as their good-natured competition for helping hone their talent.

"We support each other," said Jennifer Pan, 15, who will be a freshman this fall. "We're competing, but we're still doing this as a group representing our school."

Eleven-year-old Blake Selnick's parents moved her from Indian Hill, one of the top school districts in the state, to SCPA last year for the arts program.

"It's kind of fun," Blake said of competing against kids from her school.

"We have the same teacher. You know people in the audience, and it's helpful to have people be like, 'Go, Blake!' because they know you and are rooting for you."

All five won medals Monday.

SCPA's World Piano Competition Finalists and their awards:

• Connor Chee, 15 (level 11 Concerto: silver; level 12 Solo: silver)

• Cameron Logan, 17 (level 12 Concerto: bronze)

• Jennifer Pan, 15 (level 9 Concerto: silver; level 10 Solo: bronze)

• Jamie Pogue, 16 (level 10 Solo: silver)

• Blake Selnick, 11 (level 5: bronze)


E-mail jmrozowski@enquirer.com

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