The Piano Prodigy

The Piano Prodigy

Oak Hill resident is national finalist in piano competition.

Oak Hill resident Yvonne Chen, 14, will travel to Kansas City, MO, in March to compete as a national finalist in the MTNA Junior-High Piano Competition.

The daughter of Frank Chih-Hung and Amanda Hui-Min Chen, Yvonne earned this opportunity after winning the Eastern Division of the MTNA Junior-High Piano Competition at Morgantown, WV.

Yvonne says she's "pretty excited" about being a national finalist. "Although there's a lot of pressure about practicing, it's a good learning experience. Even if I don't win, I can still try out the next year."

An eighth-grader at Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax, Yvonne has been studying piano for 7 1/2 years with Rosita Kerr Mang in Alexandria. She practices 10-12 hours per week.

"I always call her my white dove and my Chinese princess. She's so full of love for everyone," says Kerr Mang.

"As a pianist she has great maturity, a wonderful technical ability. I think she's going to develop into one glorious young lady."

Yvonne has been the winner of the Virginia Music Teachers Association Northern District Auditions and the first-place winner of the Virginia State Auditions at every level. She also has been the winner of The Washington Music Teachers Bach Competition, the Viola Hartman Piano Performance Awards, the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition and Concerto Festival, and the Maryland State Gottlieb Competition. At age 10, she won first place in the High School division of the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs Mary Smart State Competition. Yvonne is the first flutist at her school's Symphonic Band and was a Concert Choir member of Glorystar Children's Choir for six years.

Yvonne was a guest artist of the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Nashville, TN, last October and played various recitals at the conference. She has been the guest soloist of local orchestras seven times.

The MTNA Junior Piano Competition will take place on March 27, during the 2004 MTNA National Conference in Kansas City.

Yvonne will perform "Bach Partita No. 2 in C Minor;" "Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli" by Franz Riszt; and "Danzas Argentinas" by Gina Stera.

The national winner of this competition receives a cash prize and will perform in a Winners' Concert during the conference.

The three-tiered MTNA Competitions begin at the state level. Winners of each State Competition advance to the Division Competition. Division winners then proceed to the National Competition Finals.