Monday, October 29, 2012

SBU Hosts Missouri Music Teachers Association State Auditions and Concert with Cliburn Gold Medalist Hoachen Zhang

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Office of Marketing and Communications

BOLIVAR, Mo. The Missouri Music Teachers Association will be holding its 2012 MMTA Honors Auditions on the campus of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. from Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, November 11. The state level of the Music Teachers National Association Competitions will also be held during this time. On Saturday, November 10, a free piano recital featuring 2009 Cliburn Gold Medalist Hoachen Zhang will be held in Pike Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The annual MMTA auditions feature some of Missouri’s top collegiate and pre-collegiate musicians. Pianists, vocalists, string players, and other instrumentalists receive ratings and winners are chosen in each competition category. These competitions reach many music students with over 500 participating at the state level this year.

The pre-collegiate auditions start at the district level, and students that receive a “I” rating advance to the state level. The level of playing is extremely high, and on Sunday, November 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Meyer Recital Hall, winners from the previous year will be featured in a free recital. The quality of these performances rival that found in any of the world’s top concert halls.

The state level of the MTNA national competitions are held concurrently with MMTA's honors auditions. Winners in the MTNA competition advance to the division level and may then advance to the national level. The national level will take place in Anaheim, California, and the winners receive prizes ranging from $1,000 in cash up to a Steinway piano.

On Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Pike Auditorium, Gold Medalist of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Hoachen Zhang, will be performing a solo piano recital. Zhang will be performing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Schumann's Carnaval, the Chopin Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, a set of Debussy Preludes, and Balakirev's Islamey. The recital is free and tickets are not required.

 At 19 years old, Zhang is the youngest person to ever receive the Gold medal in this competition that the Chicago Tribune describes as "the most prestigious classical piano contest in the world." Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News wrote that Zhang "demonstrated a musical maturity almost unimaginable in one so young." This concert is also supported by the Missouri Arts Council.

For more information, please visit MMTA's website at Directions, maps, and parking information may be found on the website. You may also contact Dr. Robert Carney, Assistant Professor of Music at Southwest Baptist University, at 417.328.1644 or

The Missouri Music Teachers Association, founded in 1895, is a professional non-profit organization of over 500 independent and collegiate music teachers, college students, and performing artists. MMTA is affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association.

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit