First Place in the competition went to Holly Nash and second place went to David Richards. As conference recitalists, they performed in the Winners Recital at the GMEA In-Service Conference at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah on Jan. 31.
Nash, a junior from White, recognized the “key” factors that go into reaching such an accomplishment.
“Piano is a discipline. It definitely requires time and work — many hours in the practice room,” she said. “It also requires a little bit of something that can’t be measured — each performance requires the heart and emotions of the performer. All of this work, and then add a large class load. I can definitely say that it is 110 percent worth the work to be able to do something that I love.”
The student gave Susan Naylor, associate professor of music and coordinator for undergraduate studies in music as well as her piano professor at Reinhardt, the credit for helping to guide and shape her as a pianist.
“Whether in a piano lesson or at a music conference, she has taken the time to make every moment musical, even when we’re not at the piano. Melissa Fike, my childhood piano teacher, has helped to guide me to be the pianist I am now. She helped me realize my love and passion for music,” Nash said.
After completing her degree at Reinhardt, Nash plans to continue her education with graduate school, and also teach piano and harp professionally.
As a second-time recital winner for GMEA, Richards, a junior from Canton, is always honored to share music with others.
“I feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to share my music with others,” he said. “I, like most music students here, spend three to four hours a day in a practice room perfecting the technique required for a piece, while also developing some type of emotional connection with the music. We do all this to perform for others. To share something truly magical that we found inside these notes and rhythms during our hours of practice.”
Richards also recognized Naylor as well as Dr. Dennis McIntire as an inspiration for his performances.
“She continues to push me to be the best I can be, and Dr. Dennis McIntire (Dean for the School of Performing Arts) consistently supports me in my pursuit of music,” Richards said.
Pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance is Richard’s goal after graduating.
Additional students honored include: Marjorie Saviano, a senior from Acworth, who was chosen as the Alternate, and Katie Kemp, a senior from Kennesaw, and Janelle Hendrickson, a senior from Canton, who were awarded honorable mentions. All are students of Naylor.
The Georgia Music Educators Association is one of 51state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education.
Founded in 1938 on a mission to “promote the advancement of music education in Georgia, GMEA has been active in music education in Georgia continuously since that time. There are currently more than 2,700 members who are public school, private school, college and university, and private studio music teachers.
For more information, contact Reinhardt at (770) 720-5526 or visit www.reinhardt.edu.