2016 Gig Harbor Music Olympics
Our students continue to amaze me with the intensity and caliber of their Music Olympics preparation! Excellent job to all of you, and a special congrats to the following students who received a trophy this year:  
Lower Intermediate BEdwin Balduchi Nino (3rd); Int. A: Josiah Mellott (1st); Int. B: Honor Tamminga (3rd); Upper Int: Hannah King (3rd)Lower Advanced: Christopher Hastings (2nd)Advanced: Grace Asa (1st), Maria Booy (3rd)


2016 Alliance of Christian Musicians Competition
This unique competition is designed to encourage Christian church musicians to strive for excellence and share their musical gifts. I could not have been more "proud" of all the students who represented our studio at this competition. Special congrats to the following winners: Ages 11-13: Liesl Helland (honorable mention); Ages 14-16: Grace Asa (2nd, $150); Ages 17-19: Margaret Eddy (2nd, $250); Anya Bisesto (honorable mention)


2016 State Recitalist Competition
Special congrats to Rachel King who won the honor of representing the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association at the annual Washington State Music Teachers Conference. She'll be playing in the state Honors Recital this summer. Well-deserved honorable mentions were also given to Grace Asa and 
Chris Jendrey
!







2016 Piano Adjudications
Special congrats to Rachel King and Margaret Eddy for being selected to play in the Gig Harbor Honors Recital. Special congrats also to Chris JendreyJohn Barrueto and Liesl Helland for receiving honorable mentions! I'm so pleased with every student, their hard work, their wonderful playing and their joyful/humble spirit at this year's adjudications. Dr. Hammill, thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you!


2015 Gig Harbor Music Olympics
Once again, I was super-impressed with ALL the students who prepared so well and did such a fantastic job in this year's Olympics! Special congrats to the following students who received a trophy:  Intermediate A: Liesl Helland (2nd); Intermediate B: Brooklynn Jones; Lower Advanced: Watchman Tamminga (1st), Grace Asa (2nd); Advanced: Rachel King (2nd), Chris Jendrey (3rd)


2015 State Recitalist Competition
Special congrats to Caleb Armstrong who won the honor of representing the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association at the annual Washington State Music Teachers Conference. He'll be playing in the state Honors Recital this summer. A well-deserved Honorable Mention was also given to Grace Asa!


2015 Gig Harbor Young Artist Competition:
Once every two years, the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association holds their Young Artist Competition. We're happy for the following students who were recognized this year:  Ages 11-13: Hannah King (honorable mention); Ages 14-16: Rachel King (2nd, $100)Ages 17-19: Caleb Armstrong (1st, $200), Chris Jendrey (2nd, $150), Margaret Eddy (3rd, $100)


2015 Alliance of Christian Musicians - Recital Competion
We're very happy for the following students who placed in the 2015 ACM Recital Competition:  Ages 11-13: Grace Asa (1st place, $200); Ages 17-19: Margaret Eddy (Honorable Mention)


2014 Music Olympics
My hat goes off to ALL the students who worked incredibly hard and did such a fantastic job in this year's Olympics! Special congrats to the following students who received a trophy:  Primary A: Leo Rogers (tie 3rd place); Intermediate B: Christopher Hastings (3rd); Upper Intermediate: Chris Jendrey (1st), Grace Asa (3rd); Lower Advanced: Rachel King (1st), Tirzah Small (3rd); Advanced: Margaret Eddy (1st), Caleb Armstrong (3rd).


2014 State Recitalist Competition
We're very happy for Tarra Winslow who won the honor of representing the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association at the annual Washington State Music Teachers Conference. She'll be playing in the state Honors Recital at EWU this June. Congrats also to Grace Winslow for being selected as the runner-up. (This is the first time I recall ever seeing one family take both honors!) A well-deserved Honorable Mention was also given to Margaret Eddy. Congrats to all three of you!


2014 GHMTA Honors Recitalists
I could not be more proud of the TWENTY students who played in this year's adjudications! We gained truly incredible insights on how to improve our music, and the adjudicator mentioned more than one how much she enjoyed working with all of you. Special congrats to the following students who were selected for this year's Honors Recital:  Tarra Winslow ("Reflects dans l'eau" by Debussy), Margaret Eddy ("The Great Gate of Kiev" by Moussorgsky), and Liesl Helland ("Mazurka in F Major" by Faber). Honorable mentions were also given to (in nor particular order): Rosalia Avila, Maria Booy, Matthias Clother and Hannah King. Great job everyone!


2014 University of Puget Sound Piano Festival
What a delight to see so many students from our studio performing and auditing this year's festival! Once again, this proved to be one of the most significant learning opportunities of the year for us. A record-breaking (for our studio) NINE students stepped up to the plate and performed for the professors, and even more than that came out to audit (listen and learn). The day's master classes and lectures were nothing short of fabulous. At the end of the day, 8 finalists performed in the evening's piano competition. Very special congrats to Tarra Winslow for placing 4th ($150) in this high level event!


2013 Music Olympics
Congrats to ALL the students who worked so hard and did such a fine job in this year's Olympics! Special congrats to the following students who received a trophy:  Hannah King (1st place, Lower Intermediate A), Mallen Roberts (2nd, Int B), Rachel King (1st, Upper Int), Grace Winslow (1st, Low Adv), Rosalia Avila (1st, Adv), Bonnie Hastings (2nd, Adv).


Benaroya Fieldtrip
Even with all the busy summer schedules, 20 or so of us made it out to tour the last great concert hall built in the twentieth century!
Did you know that the beautiful wood walls on the sides and back of the auditorium (for all three floors) are cut from ONE tree in Africa? Did you know that freight trains run right under the hall and 777 airliners fly right over it... but you can't hear them because Benaroya Hall is a "building built inside another building" -- and because the hall is sitting on around 550 rubber and steel bearings that act as shock/vibration absorbers? Yes, we learned a few cool things today! And hearing Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" on the world-class organ was well-worth every step up Seattle's Harbor Steps. "The Great Gate of Kiev" rocked the place. 
To top it all off, the boat ride was picture perfect and the fellowship was sweet! Thanks to everyone for making this a terrific day! (Click on pics to enlarge.)
 

2013 Piano Extravaganza a Success!
Big-time thanks to the 30 students who put on our summer Piano Extravaganza! The costumes, ice cream, smiles, and music all made for a wonderful summer evening. Yes, some told me again, "That's my favorite recital of the year!"
Thanks to each of you for your part in it! (Click on pic to see a larger, clearer version of it.)
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Congratulations To Tarra Winslow!
Only one student in our studio's history has begun piano lessons in RPS during kindergarten... and then stuck with it all the way through high school. That would be Tarra! I'm very honored to have such a dedicated and diligent student (and family) in our studio! Seeing that I now only accept students starting at age 13, Tarra may very well hold this title for a long time. (Granted, Leo is starting up soon... but he's got 13 more years to go.)
 

Hastings & Winslow 2013 "Masters Concerts"
Very special honors are due to Katie Hastings and Tarra Winslow -- our studio's two high school seniors who gave their own Masters Concerts this year! Many family and friends joined us as these two advanced pianists performed a full recital of wonderful music and received their Masters Diploma. (This is the highest recognition our studio offers.) Both ladies also celebrated their high school graduation in conjunction with their concert. We're very proud of both of you, and wish you God's richest blessing as you enter this new and exciting chapter of life!

 


*** 2012-13 A+ Honors List ***
In order to receive a Final Yearly Grade of "A+," students must earn all eight "A" Monthly Grades on their report card (September-April), faithfully make their lessons, and consistently exhibit excellent quality practice at home and attention in lessons. A very special congrats goes to the following students for having achieved this goal (in no particular order): Hannah King, Abigail King, Rachel King, Caleb Winslow, Grace Winslow, Tarra Winslow, Christian Winslow, Bonnie Hastings, Katie Hastings, Caleb Armstrong, Joshua Donaldson, Cassidy Norton, Spencer Gross, Austin Coughlin, Paul Roth, Abigail Banks, Tawny Maurmann, Marisa Maurmann, Blake Paffile, Honor Tamminga, Malachi Tamminga, Watchman Tamminga, Paul Barrueto, John Barrueto, Wyatt Forde, Peter Alford, Hannah Matsuda, Matthias Clother, James Le, Naomi Bisesto, Ophelia Bisesto, Anya Bisesto, Liesl Helland, Judah Helland, Judson Helland, Darren Pratt, Margaret Eddy, Rosalia Avila, Grace Asa, and Madison Asa. (Note: Some students may not have been with us for a full year yet, but earned all "A"s on their report card to date. They've been included in this honors list for having gotten off to such a fine start! If I missed your name in the list, please let me know.)
 

2013 Special Congrats...
- To Hannah Matsuda for winning the $2,000 "Fine and Performing Arts Scholarship" from SPU in March!
- To these ACM Competition winners:
Ages 9-10: Abigail King (HM).
Ages 11-13: Caleb Winslow (2nd, $200), Rachel King (3rd, $100).
Ages 14-16: Margaret Eddy (1st, $400), Caleb Armstrong (3rd, $200), Grace Winslow (HM).
Ages 17-19: Katie Hastings (2nd-tie, $400), Tarra Winslow (3rd, $300), Madi Asa (HM)
- To these Gig Harbor Young Artist Competition winners:
Ages 11-13: Rachel King (HM), Caleb Winslow (HM)
Ages 14-16: Margaret Eddy (1st, $125), Grace Winslow (2nd, $100), Caleb Armstrong (3rd, $75) 
Ages 17-19: Tarra Winslow (1st, $200), Hannah Matsuda (3rd, $100)
 

2013 State Recitalist Competition
Congratulations to all four students who represented our studio so well in this event! And special congrats to the following students for being recognized:
Caleb Armstrong (winner), Madison Asa (runner-up), and Tarra Winslow (Honorable Mention). Caleb will now represent the Gig Harbor Chapter of music teachers in the State Honors Recital at the WSMTA State Conference in Wenatchee. Best wishes, Caleb!
 

2013 University of Puget Sound Piano Festival
The UPS Piano Festival has always been a top-notch, high-level and FUN experience for our upper-level students... and this year was no exception! I'm VERY proud of the TWENTY-TWO students from our studio who came out this year. (I think that broke our studio record!) Congrats to Caleb Armstrong, Madi Asa, Rosalia Avila, Margaret Eddy, Bonnie Hastings, Katie Hastings, Grace Winslow and Tarra Winslow for signing up to play, be adjudicated, and compete! And a special congrats to Caleb Armstrong and Madi Asa for being selected as 2 of the 6 finalists in the festival competition! We're very happy for both of you! 
 
     

2012 Gig Harbor Music Olympics
Congrats to all 34 of the outstanding students from our studio who participated marvelously in the 2012 Music Olympics! I don't think I've ever seen our studio work so hard for the Olympics. I'm incredibly grateful for the privilege of teaching every one of you! Special congrats to the following students who won a trophy this year:
Elementary A: Hannah King (2nd).
Elementary B: Tawny Maurmann (3rd).  
- Lower Intermediate A: Liesl Helland (1st), Matthias Clother (2nd). 
Intermediate A: Rachel King (1st), Ophelia Bisesto (3rd). 
Intermediate B: Anya Bisesto (tie for 1st). 
- Upper Intermediate: Grace Winslow (1st), Caleb Armstrong (2nd). 
- Lower Advanced: Rosalia Avila (1st), Bonnie Hastings (3rd). 
- Advanced: Katie Hastings (1st)
If you'd like to see the complete list of winners, go to the GHMTA site Olympics page.
 

2012 Special Congrats...
- To Christian Winslow who broke our studio's practice record this summer: 32 hours in one week. (Do not attempt to break this record without prior permission from Chris. :)
 

Winslow "Masters Concert"
Christian gave our final Masters Concert of the year (and a fabulous one at that) to an auditorium full of friends and family at Discovery Baptist Church on July 27. A very special congrats to Christian for this significant achievement! (And for having survived ELEVEN years of lessons in our studio!)
 
  
 

Gross & Matsuda "Masters Concert"
An enthusiastic crowd thoroughly enjoyed Jonathan and Hannah's outstanding senior recital on Friday, July 20 at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tacoma! Congrats to both of you for having successfully completed our studio's Masters Program!

 
  
  
 
    

 
Piano: The "Insides" Story
Thanks to Ron Bechtel (ACM) and Carl Kanz (Prosser Piano & Organ) for giving us this very informational "tour" of the insides of a piano! My hat goes off to all the students from our studio who made it -- great to see SO MANY of you out there! And thanks to all the students from our studio who volunteered to give duet performances, too!
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

State Honors Recitalist
Congrats to Tarra Winslow for representing the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Assocation at the 2012 State Honors Recital!  We're very happy for you, Tarra. And thanks for sharing this pic with us! (Tarra performed "Preleudium in C minor" by Edward MacDowell.)  

 
 

2012 Piano Extravaganza Concert
This year's multi-piano concert undoubtedly topped 'em all! Thanks to the 35 or so students who made this concert a fabulous evening for the "full house" we had! The costumes, the acting, and the MuSiC brought more smiles to our faces than we can count. We're already looking forward this concert again next summer!
 
 
 

** A+ Honor Students ** (2011-12 School Year)
In order to receive a Final Yearly Grade of "A+," students must earn all eight "A" Monthly Grades on their report card (September-April), faithfully make their lessons, and consistently exhibit excellent quality practice at home and attention in lessons. A very special congratulations goes to the following students for having achieved this goal (in no particular order):  Abigail Banks, Jonathan Gross, Caleb, Gracie, Tarra & Christian Winslow, Bonnie & Katie Hastings, Grace, Madison & Blake Asa, Steven Miller, Wyatt Forde, Paul Roth, Tawny & Marissa Maurmann, Darren Pratt, Caleb Armstrong, Aspen & Dakota Beard, Paul, John & Hannah Barrueto, Peter Alford, Elsie & Hannah Matsuda, Matthias Clother, Naomi, Ophelia & Anya Bisesto, Honor & Watchman Tamminga, Liesl, Judah & Judson Helland, Aaron Baldwin, Chris Jendrey, Abby & Rachel King, Rosalia Avila, Joanna Heagerty, Margaret Eddy, James Le, and Joshua Donaldson.
(Note: A few students have not been with us for a full year yet, but earned all "A"s on their report card to date. They have been included in this honors list for having gotten off to such a fine start! If I missed your name in the list, please let me know.)
 

2012 State Recital Competition (Mar 31)
A very special congrats to Tarra Winslow who was selected as the 1st place winner to represent the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association in the State Honors Recital at the state music teachers conference in Bellingham this summer! This is perhaps the highest honor a student can receive in our area. Special congrats also to Hannah Matsuda who was selected as the runner-up (in case Tarra can't go), and to Christian Winslow who received an Honorable Mention. We are very happy for all three of you!  (See entry below for last year's winners.)
 

2012 Association of Christian Musicians Young Artists Competition (Mar 31)
All 22 of the students from our studio did an outstanding job at this music event designed to encourage students in their preparation for Christian music ministry. Special congrats to the following students who received an award for their performance:
- DIVISION 1: Naomi Bisesto (3rd, $25)
- DIV. 2: Grace Winslow (1st, $400), Watchman Tamminga (tie for 3rd, $100), Anya Bisesto (HM)
- DIV. 3: Madison Asa (1st, $400), Bonnie Hastings (3rd, $100), Caleb Armstrong (HM), Elsie Matsuda (HM)
- DIV. 4: Tarra Winslow (1st, $400), Hannah Matsuda (tie for 2nd, $250), Katie Hastings (3rd, $100)
(Thanks to the Hastings for the group shot!) (See entry below for last year's winners.)
 

IT'S A GIRL!
Announcing the birth of our precious baby girl, Jacquelyn Kay! Born Jan 23, 3:53am, 8lb 2oz, 21 inches, and lots of dark, straight hair! Click here for a few pics and a short video!
 
 

  
2011 Music Olympics (Nov 17)
Congrats to all the students who participated so well in the 2011 Music Olympics! And special congrats to the following students who won a trophy this year:
- Primary B: Wyatt Forde (3rd place)
- Elementary B: Aspen Beard (1st), Caleb Winslow & Liesl Helland (tie for 2nd)
- Lower Intermediate A: Grace Asa (3rd)
- Lower Intermediate B: Rachel King (1st)
- Intermediate B: Watchman Tamminga (1st), Steven Miller (2nd)
- Upper Intermediate: Blake Asa & Rosalia Avila (tied for 1st), Bonnie Hastings (2nd), Peter Alford & Spencer Gross (tie for 3rd)
- Lower Advanced: Margaret Eddy (1st), Daniel Stephenson (2nd)
- Advanced: Madi Asa (1st), Hannah Matsuda (2nd), Tarra Winslow (3rd)
(Thanks to Banks & Winslows for photo submissions!)
 

2011 "Piano Potpourri" Concert (Aug 5)
Thirty-three or so of our students gave a wonderful end-of-summer concert to an enthusiastic crowd of family and friends. In addition to sacred and popular solos, the majority of the students in this recital wrote their own piece! What an inspiration! The cookies and sweets afterwards that everyone brought made for a perfect evening of music and fellowship.
 

2011 "Piano Extravaganza" Concert (June 17)
It's ILLEGAL to never have fun playing piano! Creative costumes and multi-piano groups (up to 6 pianists playing at a time!) came together to put on a fabulous evening of smiles and music entertainment for a packed-out house. The ice cream social afterwards topped off the fun! Thanks to everyone for their part in making this such a memorable time. (Thanks to Jeremy McMahan for the GREAT pics! Click here to see his complete album!)
 

A+ Honor Students (2010-11 School Year)
In order to receive a Final Yearly Grade of "A+," students must earn all eight "A" Monthly Grades on their report card (September-April), as well as exhibit diligent, excellent quality practice and attention in lessons. A very special congratulations goes to the following students for having achieved this goal: (in no particular order)
Darren Pratt, Caleb Armstrong, Abigail Banks, Spencer & Jonathan Gross, Gabe Palansc, Rebekah Bublat, Caleb, Gracie, Tarra & Christian Winslow, Bonnie, Katie & Anna Hastings, Grace, Madison & Blake Asa, Steven Miller, Gabriel Best, Wyatt Forde, Paul Roth, Bryce Atilano, Marissa Maurmann, Aspen & Dakota Beard, Carina Thompson, Elizabeth Feehan, Brian Kott, Paul, John & Hannah Barrueto, Peter Alford, Hannah Matsuda, Matthias Clother, Naomi, Ophelia & Anya Bisesto, Watchman Tamminga, Liesl, Judah & Judson Helland, Daniel Stephenson, Aaron Baldwin, and Chris Jendrey.

(Note: A few students have not been with us for a full year yet, but earned all "A"s on their report card to date. They have been included in this honors list for having gotten off to such a fine start! If I missed your name in the list, please let me know.) 
 

2011 Young Artists Competition (May 6)
This is Gig Harbor's highest-level piano competition (with nearly $1000 in prizes). Twenty-two students represented our studio at this year's event! Wow... this was undoubtedly the best playing I've heard all school year!! I commend each of the participants for pushing their pieces so long and hard. (This event really is a marathon, seeing the students have "hung on" to their pieces for so long!) Everyone performed magnificently in the three division (ages 11-13, 14-16, and 17-19). A very special congratulations to the following students from our studio who were recognized: 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION: Dakota Beard (2nd, $75), Christopher Jendrey (3rd, $50), Anya Bisesto (HM)
JUNIOR DIVISION: Madison Asa (2nd place, $100), Tarra Winslow (3rd, $75), Caleb Armstrong (HM)
SENIOR DIVISION: Hannah Matsuda (1st, $200), Rebekah Bublat (3rd, $100), Anna Hastings (HM), John Barrueto (HM), Jonathan Gross (HM) 
 

2011 Alliance of Christian Musicians Competition (Apr 16)
Twenty students from our studio competed in the 2nd annual ACM Competition! Everyone performed well and the audience of 100 people or so thoroughly enjoyed the recital which consisted of two divisions (grades 6-8 and 9-12). A very special congratulations to the following students from our studio who were recognized: 

JUNIOR DIVISION: Caleb Armstrong (1st place, $400), Gracie Winslow, (2nd, $250), Spencer Gross (HM)
SENIOR DIVISION: Jonathan Gross (1st, tied, $400), Anna Hastings (1st, tied, $400), Hannah Matsuda (2nd, $250), Tarra Winslow (HM), Christian Winslow (HM)                                         (Thanks to Heidi Beard for the great pics!)
 

2011 State Recitalist Competition (Apr 9)
 "Hats off" to the four students from our studio who bravely competed in this year's State Recitalist Competition! Only one winner is selected at this competition to have the privilege of playing in the State Honors Recital at the Washington State Music Teachers Convention in Pasco, WA. This student performs as the representative of the Gig Harbor Music Teachers Association/Chapter. A very special congrats to the following students from our studio who were recognized: 

STATE HONORS RECITAL WINNER: Jonathan Gross                            (Thanks to Christian Winslow for the pic!)
STATE HONORS RECITAL ALTERNATE: Tarra Winslow
HONORABLE MENTION: Hannah Matsuda 
 

2011 Washington State Piano Adjudications (Mar 28 & 30)
Congratulations to the 33 students who participated in this year's piano adjudications! (See pic on right. The pic on left is what you
DON'T want to see 10 minutes before our first student is supposed to play! Thanks to Marvin MacDonald for a lightning fast repair. :) I was VERY impressed
with the outstanding effort that was put in by every student. A special thanks also to the adjudicator, Debra Bakland, who extended her flight from Canada and put in extremely long days (8am-6pm) to help accommodate our 15 hours of adjudications! She then taught straight through most of her breaks in order to give the students everything she could! The advice/encouragement she gave was tops. (And she had very kind things to say about all of you after the adjudications. What a blessing!)

Honors Recital: The adjudicator selects 1-4 students from each participating studio who she feels prepared/performed best on the day of adjudications. These students from around the county come together to give what is called the Honors Recital. As you can imagine, this is a spectacular concert.
A special congrats goes to the following students who were selected from our studio (in no
particular order):
HONORS RECITAL SELECTIONS: Caleb Armstrong, John Barrueto, Jonathan Gross, & Hannah Matsuda
HONORS RECITAL ALTERNATE: Madison Asa
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Aaron Baldwin, Spencer Gross, Bonnie Hastings, Watchman Tamminga, & Grace Winslow
 

2011 University of Puget Sound Piano Festival (Feb 5)
Fifteen of us went to this absolutely fantastic piano festival! Six of our students performed for not only the three professors, but also for the guest artist -- Mr. Bill Wolfram, who is one of the bronze medalists for the very prestigious Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. What a privilege to have HIM and the other university professors giving personal piano lessons to our students! We all enjoyed masterclasses, a mini-concert (Prokofiev's 1st piano concerto), a couple lectures/videos, the evening concerto concert/masterclass, and a couple meals together (lots of laughs and good times!). 
  
  
   
2010 Music Olympics (Nov 20)
44 of our students headed off to the Music Olympics in November. Congratulations to everyone for preparing very well and making significant progress in your studies! Each student (except the Novice level) tested in ALL of the following nine categories: Rhythm, Theory, Ear-Training, Scales, Chords & Cadences, Arpeggios, Sight-Reading, Speed-Reading, and Performance. (WOW!)

A special congratulations to the following students for placing in this year's Olympics: Liesl Helland (tie for 1st Place – Primary A Level), Naomi Bisesto (tie for 3rd – Primary A), Abigail Banks (Honorable Mention – Primary B), Mathias Clother (3rd – Elementary A), Judah Helland (2nd – Elementary B), Caleb Armstrong (2nd - Lower Intermediate B), Dakota Beard (3rd – Lower Intermediate B), Gracie Winslow (Honorable Mention – Intermediate A), Gabe Palansc & Blake Asa (tie for 2nd - Intermediate B), Bonnie Hastings (3rd – Intermediate B), Hannah Matsuda (1st – Upper Intermediate), Bryce Atilano (3rd – Upper Intermediate), Madison Asa (1st – Lower Advanced), Tarra Winslow (2nd – Lower Advanced), Katie Hastings (3rd – Lower Advanced), and Jonathan Gross (3rd – Advanced).