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Ouachita to host Virginia Queen Piano Competition May 3

Virginia Queen Piano Competition performers are all piano majors or minors.April 24, 2019 - Tiffany Lee

Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will host its annual Virginia Queen Piano Competition Friday, May 3, at 3 p.m. The competition will be held in Ouachita’s McBeth Recital Hall in Mabee Fine Arts Center, and admission is free and open to the public.

Every participant in the annual competition is a piano major or minor at Ouachita, and they will play two pieces with contrasting styles. The competition is named after Virginia Queen, former professor of music at Ouachita. Queen graduated from Ouachita in 1944 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. She began teaching in 1946 and continued for 40 years until her retirement.

The students participating in this year’s competition include: Joshua Conard, a sophomore music major from Denton, Texas; Isabel Dodds, a senior piano performance major from Leslie, Ark.; Felicity Johnson, a sophomore biblical languages major from Little Rock, Ark.; Melissa Lee, a sophomore music major from Singapore; Logan Moore, a freshman worship arts major from Gulfport, Miss.; Tyler Sanders, a senior music industry major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Anna Weyenberg, a sophomore piano performance and communications & media double major from McKinney, Texas; and Sam Youmans, a sophomore music industry major from Siloam Springs, Ark.

“Each student will perform two solo pieces from memory,” said Dr. Lei Cai, professor of music at Ouachita. “This year’s judge will be Dr. Kiu Tung Poon, a piano professor from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.”

Poon also will present a guest artist concert Thursday, May 2, at 8 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall.

Poon has traveled the world, appearing as a recitalist and collaborative pianist on concert stages in Austria, China, France, Germany, Malaysia, Portugal, Singapore and the U.S. Her international music festival appearances include Aspen and Tanglewood in the U.S., Great Wall in Beijing, Le French May in Hong Kong and Wiener Konzerthaus in Austria. Her world premiere with Mark Morris Dance Group at the Tanglewood Music Festival received enthusiastic reviews from the “New York Times” and “Boston Phoenix.”

For more information about the competition, contact Dr. Lei Cai at or (870) 245-5140. For more information about Poon’s guest concert, visit


By Tiffany Lee

April 24, 2019