The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jul. 22, 2024

Local students participate in piano event

VW independent/submitted information

Students from the piano studio of Annette Hoverman recently participated in the National Piano Guild held annually in Van Wert since 1988. Each student prepared a program of memorized pieces, scales, chords, and various musicianship phases. Twenty-two students of Mrs. Hoverman prepared 10-piece programs and performed before a certified Piano Guild judge. Four of those students were awarded plaques for 10 years of 10-piece programs. Those recognized include Elissa Miglin, Rachel Spath, Lydia Miller, and Sophia Miller. TJ Stoller received a plaque for five years of 10-piece programs. 

Piano students who earned a plaque for 10 years of 10-piece programs include (from the left) Lydia Miller, Rachel Spath, Elissa Miglin, and Sophia Miller. photos provided

This year, the judge was Merrill Cooper-Bender from Marion. Mrs. Bender is an independent piano teacher who has taught for more than 50 years. Her piano study began at the age of 4, and continued studies were at Bowling Green State University. Her music education and performances continued throughout the U.S. and Europe, and her life-long dream was realized in giving a solo performance in Carnegie Hall. Mrs. Bender has held lecturer/performer status at Ohio State University-Marion, and has taught classes there on Russian composers and their music. 

She has also been accompanist to choirs and guest pianist with internationally known baritone Anthony Brown. 

”In my years of teaching, judging, and performing, I hope to honor my past teachers and adjudicators by inspiring future pianists to be proud of their talent and to keep music an important part of their lives,” she noted.

The Piano Guild is a division of the American College of Musicians founded in 1929 by Dr. Irl Allison. Over 118,000 piano students participate internationally in the Guild goals and awards each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the National Guild of Piano Teachers is responsible for the syllabus of requirements as well as sending judges each year to each center. It is a non-competitive adjudication that judges students on individual merit, providing teachers with a long-term goal opportunity that enhances motivation. 

POSTED: 06/22/20 at 7:08 am. FILED UNDER: Youth