Paris Junior College music student Rebekah Veien recently took first prize in her category of the Texoma Piano Competition, hosted in April by the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Department of Music. Her virtual entry featured a performance of French composer Claude Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral.”
“I had been working on the piece for about a month for our end-of-semester recital,” said Veien. “I had a little more than a week’s notice before the competition. I was skeptical because of that short notice, but I’m glad I did it. I was surprised and I’m definitely excited. It’s a very cool thing to be recognized.”
The piano competition was open to all pianists who live or study in Oklahoma and North Texas, with an objective of providing performance opportunities for young pianists in the area, and also to advance classical music and arts in the community. Veien competed in the category for ages 19 and above for a piece to last no more than 15 minutes. A music major, the freshman from Paris came to PJC after being homeschooled and was awarded a music scholarship.
“Rebekah is one of my most prodigious students in terms of the piano,” said Dr. Michael Holderer, PJC Music Instructor. “She plays well beyond her 19 years of being on this earth and plays just about anything. In lessons I like to throw a Franz Liszt piece at her and make her sight read it. She’s always been able to do that. I look forward to what the next semester brings.”
Veien’s winning piece, as well as performances from PJC piano and choral students, is available virtually in PJC’s “Spring 2021 Music Concert” available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/GUtoetI048Y.
For more information about the PJC Music Program and music scholarships, contact Dr. Holderer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-782-0343.
Photo cutline: PJC music student Rebekah Veien of Paris is shown at the piano where she recorded her winning entry in the Texoma Piano Competition.