Lone representative Elena Lemke plays Regionals

Brody Hoff 

Sugar Beet staff reporter  

When one thinks of usual Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) events what comes to mind might be football, basketball and track. However on Feb. 2 Elena Lemke traveled to Dodge City to compete in Regional Piano held at Dodge City Community College.

“I started playing piano when I was about eight years old and I’ve had multiple different teachers teach me how to play, it is a passion for me now,” Elena Lemke, health and trade academy senior, said.

“This was my fourth year going to Regional Piano. In the past three years, I scored a one for my performance,” Lemke said. Every year only one person can go to Regional Piano and they are required to be selected by their school. When a pianist scores a one they are allowed the chance to go to Wichita State University on Feb. 16.

“She always does great at the competition, but you can never predict how it will go. Nerves play a huge part of it.” Tammy Bunny, Lemke’s piano teacher said. Because the piano competitions are KSHSAA events they follow the usual eligibility rules that other sports have to follow. Bunny has taught Lemke the piano for six years.

“The competition is very stressful but I really enjoy it and I think it’s a very good opportunity for me to show off what I’ve practiced and to do the best I can,” Lemke said. There are five separate ratings an individual can obtain when competing ranging from levels five to one. The one rating is the best indicating “An outstanding performance with few technical errors and exemplifying a truly musical expression. This rating should be reserved for the truly outstanding performance.”

According to the judge sheets, whilst a five rating is reserved for “An ineffective performance indicating major deficiencies in tone quality, intonation, balance, blend, musical expression, and effective use of existing instrumentation. The fundamentals of good performance need careful attention. This rating should be used sparingly, citing ways to improve major problems.”

These ratings are standardized across all Kansas piano competitions to allow a fair competition. The ballot for these competitions are all the same as well and available to see from the KSHSAA website.

“I really enjoy Regional Piano because it lets me compete in an event of something I’m very passionate about and I can win and work to improve myself,” Lemke said. The State competition at Wichita State University is the highest level of competition a student piano player can compete at.

Brody Hoff is a trade academy sophomore, you can contact him a hoffb@student.gckschools.com.

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