The Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) held their 2017 annual Convention from June 30th to July 4th. The convention is a celebratory event in which hundreds of students are celebrated for their musical achievements. This year, it was held at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in Santa Clara. The five day event featured a keynote speaker, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, many guest performers from around the world, and approximately 700 student musicians in their respective recitals.
One event of particular interest was the Panel Honors Recital. This recital featured a variety of pianists that underwent an audition process in which they played exclusively for 11 respected judges. Then, those judges would decide based on the auditions which pianists would move on to perform in the Honors Recital.
Jane Lee, an incoming junior at Crescenta Valley High School, was a performer who thoroughly impressed the judges and was able to perform in the recital. She explains the tensions of the process and her audition: “I was actually surprised that I was able to move on simply because my audition was not as good as I had wished for. I was still confident in my ability to play because I have practiced my piece for such a long time.” She was one of only a handful of young, brilliant pianists who had the privilege of performing in the Honors Recital.
All of the students that performed throughout the weekend were truly the top of their class. SooBim Lim, a registered teacher of the MTAC, stated in one of her introductory speeches, “Of the 25,000 plus musicians that were involved in the Certificate of Merit program, only approximately 700 were chosen to perform throughout the weekend. So it is truly an honor to be performing here today.” And so it must be, since that is less than 1% of all eligible musicians.
From each distinguished guest, to all the registered teachers, to all the honored performers, as well as all the audiences present, this convention is a gathering not to forget, with hundreds of top-tier performances, prestigious awards distributed, as well as the experience of a lifetime.