In this very unusual year during the COVID19 worldwide pandemic, we are grateful that a plan was worked out for these wonderfully gifted performers to showcase their study of the music of the Baroque era.
The judges were delighted with so much beautiful playing. While they looked at how well you played the piece and the difficulty of the piece, they also focused on Baroque interpretation. It was very difficult to make a decision, but they decided on two 1st place winners: Anna Davis and Rachel Johnson.
1st Place Winners
Anna Davis (American Fork High School)
JS Bach, Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G Major, BWV 884
Anna Davis, age 16, is the daughter of Judy and Preston Davis in Cedar Hills. She began her study of the piano at age 3 and has been working under her teacher, Daniel Olsen, for the past 6 years. Since then, Anna has had the opportunity to play in numerous competitions and festivals which include 1st place in the Solo Encore Competition, finalist of the Utah Concerto Competition, and 2nd place in the UVU Piano Scholarship Competition. In addition to her classical studies, Anna also has enjoyed accompanying, performing for religious congregations, improvisation, and playing for the advanced Jazz band at her school. In addition to the piano, Anna is a member of the National Honor Society, Service Club, Spanish Club, Choir, and is a Student Body Officer at her school. Lettering on the AFHS tennis team this year, she was was a quarter finalist of the region lV tournament. In her spare time, Anna enjoys skiing with her family, playing sports with her friends, and taking walks around her block.
Rachel Johnson (Cedar Valley High School, 9th)
French Suite #5 – Gigue by J.S. Bach (BWV 816)
Rachel Johnson, age 14, started piano with her dad, Carl, at the age of 5. This gave her a great foundation when she began studying with Janae Williams at 9 years old. Under Dr. Williams’ tutelage she has participated in the full range of Encore events annually, from Music Projects Fair (three-time Grand Prize Winner) to various performance festivals (which typically have led to Honors recitals by scoring in the top 15%). Rachel also plays flute and oboe and, in her first year of eligibility, qualified on oboe at the Region Solo and Ensemble Festival to perform at the State Festival. She is a proud member of both CVHS Wind Symphony and Crimson Regiment Marching Band and was named one of four Drum Majors for next season. Rachel sings in the CVHS Encore choir, has participated in numerous school musical theater productions, and plays the organ at church. She has traveled extensively with her parents and is a certified scuba diver.
Susanna Clark (Orem High School, 12th)
Prelude and Fugue in D Minor-JS Bach, BWV 875
Susanna Clark is a 17 year-old senior at Orem High School where she is a member of student council and runs on the cross country and track teams. She’s the second of six children, and loves to hike and backpack in the deserts of southern Utah with her family. She doesn’t have much free time, but when she does, she enjoys being outside doing gymnastics or playing basketball with her siblings. She will attend BYU in the fall. Susanna started taking piano lessons as a seven-year-old, and since then has had many opportunities to play the piano in different settings–as the pianist for jazz band, accompanist for choirs and soloists, and as a solo performer for church and community events.
Kelsey Berges (Timpview High School, 9th)
Prelude and Fugue in E-Minor, BWV 900 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Kelsey is 15 years old and has been playing the piano for 7 years. She plays a variety of instruments, but her first love is piano. She also loves to run cross county, teach piano lessons and watch movies with her friends. Kelsey is a freshmen at Timpview High School. She has been in the Chinese Dual Language Immersion program where she has been taking Chinese for 9 years. Kelsey would like to major in piano performance and pedagogy in college. Kelsey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to her parents, Brad and Brooke Berges. She has an older brother, an older sister and a younger sister. She is excited to be able to perform in the Baroque Ensemble Competition.
Brenley Mason (Lone Peak High School, 12th)
Toccata by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Brenley Mason is 17 years old and attends Lone Peak high school. She began taking violin lessons at the age of 5, and began learning viola at age 6. be She has since participated in advanced orchestras and chamber music groups and will continue her musical education at college next year.
Henry Nielson (Timpview High School, 11th)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F minor BWV 881
Henry P. Nielson, age 16, began studying piano at a young age. He enjoys playing everything he can get his hands on, from classical music to jazz to film scores. He is a junior at timpview high school, where he enjoys most of his subjects (besides AP chemistry). He enjoys reading, sleeping, traveling, eating, playing ultimate frisbee, arguing about politics (he wants to be a politician), watching movies, practicing piano 40 hours daily, swimming, biking, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. His favorite music is Elton John, and his favorite type of food is all types of food. Henry was also a finalist last year.
Thys Hansen (Timpanogos High School, 11th)
JS Bach, 3rd movement of Italian Concerto BMV 971
Thys Hansen, age 16, attends Timpanogos High school where he runs varsity cross country and track. This past fall they placed second at state in cross country. He started playing the piano back in 2008, played the viola for the school orchestra, and now accompanies ward choir.
Spencer Lyle (Lumen Scholar Institute, 10th)
Johann Sebastian Bach Sonata 1, Adagio. BWV number: 1001
Spencer Lyle, age 15, began learning the violin at age six, and has continued to grow and learn in the art of music. He has competed in the Utah Valley String Festival several times, getting perfect/near perfect scores every time. He graduated from Suzuki book 10 in February, 2018, and is currently working on the Bruch violin concertos, along with the marvelous works of Bach. Spencer’s current music teacher is Dr. Jeremy Starr.
Lauren Jacob (Mountain View High School, 11th)
Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009: VI. Gigue by JS Bach
Lauren Jacob is 17 years old she is the middle of 5 kids. Lauren began playing the cello in 2010 and has been studying with Megan Boyle since 2012. Lauren is in her 8th year of participating in the Lyceum Orchestras at American Heritage which have given her opportunities to play beautiful music with several amazing musicians in a lot of cool places. She loves playing in orchestra and has had the opportunity to solo with the Lyceum Symphonic strings twice, as well as with the Lehi community orchestra and the Lakeridge Chamber orchestra. Other ways that Lauren loves to use her music are serving others and playing trios with her sisters. Some of her other interests include choir, mock trial, playing basketball, reading, writing, and spending time with friends and family.