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Sunnyside teen wraps up busy year at the piano

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Jackie KIlian of Sunnyside is pictured rehearsing with viruoso violinist Hollas Longton at the University of Victoria.

The year 2010 has been rewarding for pianist Jackie Kilian, 17, of Sunnyside.

Earlier this year, Kilian was invited as one of the top 11 musicians, from the 114 pianists who were participating in the Washington State Music Teachers Association Yakima/Ellensburg Chapter Adjudications, to compete in the state playoff competition.

During a state conference in Olympia in June, Kilian was selected the number one overall winner. At the conference she performed on a Steinway concert grand piano.

Kilian was also one of 18 pianists who were selected to perform at the Yakima/Ellensburg Chapter honors recital held at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Yakima.

In April, Kilian auditioned and was selected by Dr. Jon Waite as one of two winners for the Yakima/Ellensburg Chapter's $300 camp scholarship.

Also in April, she auditioned for a $500 scholarship offered by Bel Canto of Yakima, a women's choral group. The talents auditioning included several in the following categories: piano, voice, flute, violin and viola.

Kilian and Andrew Isom of Selah were the winners selected by three judges and were each awarded a $500 scholarship.

Bel Canto raised money for the music scholarships by hosting a matinee and evening performance at the Clarion Hotel in the spring.

In July, Kilian combined her two scholarship winnings to attend the Victoria Conservatory of Music Piano Academy held in Victoria, B.C. at the University of Victoria. The intensive, two-week program included 10 hours in each of the following classes with professors: repertoire, technique, comparative listening, voice training and choir performance, as well as five hours of sight reading, two hours of private lessons, one hour of private chamber instruction and two half-hour rehearsals.

She and fellow students performed in noon-hour and evening concerts on Steinway concert grand pianos and attended concerts prepared by the Conservatory staff and other talented Victoria musicians.

The highlight of the academy for Kilian was the opportunity to perform her first-ever chamber piece, Beethoven Spring Sonata, with virtuoso violinist Hollas Longton, at the Chamber/Concerto Concert in the Phillip T. Young Hall.

One of the extra highlights of the Victoria, B.C. trip was the opportunity to visit the famous Butchart Gardens and evening fireworks show on the wedding anniversary of Kilian's parents, Carl and Jeannie.

In December, Kilian also competed for the opportunity to perform in the 2011 spring concert with the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra. She was selected Alternate of the Young Pianist Award in the competition.

Kilian and Andrew Isom were recently featured at the Yakima Bel Canto Christmas Concert and will be featured again at the Bel Canto of Yakima Spring Concert in April of 2011.

Kilian is a junior enrolled in a home education program through Christian Liberty Academy. She is the oldest of seven children in the Kilian household and continues to teach three of her siblings piano.

She currently studies piano with Danene Knudsen of West Valley. She is in her 10th year of private piano instruction and the year has been filled with opportunities of enjoying the fruits of her labor.

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