USD announces Truran Piano Competition winners for 2008

VERMILLION, S.D. -- More than a dozen young pianists from across the tri-state area competed at the 14th annual Genevieve Truran Piano Competition at the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the campus of The University of South Dakota.

First place was awarded to musicians in five age groups followed by second place recipients in four age categories. First place winners of the 2008 Truran Competition included: eighth grade – Leah Baas of Sioux Center, Iowa; ninth grade – Taylor Huseman of Manson, Iowa; 10th grade – Jason Bartos of Yankton, S.D.; 11th grade – April Sun from Vermillion; and 12th grade – Xiao yi Li of Yankton, S.D. Second place finishers were: ninth grade – Marie Yokan of Sioux Falls, S.D.; 10th grade – Katie Ridder of Sioux Falls, S.D.; 11th grade – Elizabeth Christensen of Omaha, Neb.; and 12th grade – Brianna Wetrosky from Brandon, S.D. Honorable mention honors were awarded to Tracy Zhou of Sioux Falls, S.D., Emily Baltzer of Alpena, S.D., Zophie Dvorak of Utica, S.D., and Elise Bunkers of Colton, S.D.

Named for Genevieve Truran, a native of Pierre, S.D., who taught piano at USD for 47 years, the Truran Competition featured Mark Valenti, pianist and teacher from Lakeview, Ill. As part of the keyboard festivities, Valenti performed a solo recital on Friday evening. He also presented a master class to competitors and USD piano students on Saturday afternoon.

The Genevieve Truran Piano Competition is funded through the Genevieve and John Truran Endowed Fund, which also supports various additional keyboard activities at The U. For more information, please contact Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A., associate professor of music at USD, at (605) 677-5724 or skgray@usd.edu; or Susanne Skyrm, D.M.A., professor of music at The U, at (605) 677-5723 or sskyrm@usd.edu.