Outstanding Artist Competition

The competition was established in 2005 to provide an additional performance opportunity for talented pianists from Washington state. It runs concurrently with the MTNA Competition, but is not part of the MTNA Competition. The Outstanding Artist Competition (OAC) may serve as a positive initial step for students desiring to compete in the MTNA Performance Competition in future years.

The OAC is a state level competition with monetary awards.
Outstanding Artist Competition 2018 Guidelines (pdf)

WHEN: November 10-12, 2018
WHERE: Central Washington University, Ellensburg

QUESTIONS: Cherie Felts, WSMTA OAC Chair


Jeffrey Gilliam

Prior to joining the piano faculty at Western Washington University in 1992, Jeffrey Gilliam taught at The Juilliard School; The University of Michigan School of Music; and at The International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland. He has performed and taught all over the world, including guest university teaching positions in Thailand and South Africa, as well as receiving two Fulbright awards. He has recorded with violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Alberto Lysy, and Ruggerio Ricci for the EMI, Dinemec Classics, and Opus 111 labels.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Jeffrey studied piano with Cécile Genhart at The Eastman School of Music, and with Theodore Lettvin at The University of Michigan. A Fulbright Scholarship in piano and in German literature enabled him to continue his studies with Günter Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, where he made his European recital debut in 1982. He also studied collaborative piano with Martin Katz and Margo Garrett. He has performed in master classes for Leon Fleisher, György Sebök, John Perry, Maria Curcio Diamand, Tatiana Nikolayeva, György Sandor, and Dorothy Taubman.

In addition to teaching piano and collaborative piano at Western Washington University in Bellingham, he is Artistic Director of Western’s Sanford-Hill Piano Series. Now in its sixteenth year, Sanford-Hill may be unique in that world-class pianists play recitals and give master classes, but the profits from ticket sales go entirely to Western’s endowed piano scholarships. In 2015 he established his own endowed piano scholarship: the Jeffrey Gilliam Piano Scholarship Endowment Fund. His students have gone on to distinguished piano performance programs at Stony Brook, New England Conservatory, Rice University, and Manhattan School of Music.

He remains active as a Visiting Artist and clinician with the Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA).

Colleen Hunter

Colleen Hunter, DMA, NCTM, teaches applied and class piano at Gonzaga University and maintains a private piano studio in her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, teaching a wide range of ages and levels from children to adults.

Nationally and state certified with MTNA, she is active at the state and local level in Washington and Idaho. She is Immediate Past President of the North Idaho Music teachers and a past president of the Spokane Music Teachers.

Professional and community involvement includes collaboration with area musicians, both professional and through the local schools. She has been entertainment coordinator for the summer festival, Art on the Green, and helped promote its winter lecture series, as well as, ongoing home concerts. Dr. Hunter holds degrees from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and Seattle Pacific University. Teachers include Richard Cass, Marcile Mack, Bela Nagy, and Margaret Saunders Ott.

Del Parkinson

Del Parkinson is professor of piano as well as keyboard chair at Boise State University, where he joined the faculty in 1985. He previously was keyboard chair at BYU–Idaho, where he taught piano. He holds a doctor of music degree from Indiana University and a postgraduate diploma from The Juilliard School. He was the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays grant for graduate study in London. Parkinson has performed in Europe, Asia, South America, and throughout the United States. His London debut recital was on the American Bicentennial Series, and his New York debut recital in Carnegie Recital Hall was sponsored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He has soloed with the Guadalajara Symphony, Indiana University Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Boise Philharmonic, and Utah Symphony. He is on the international roster of Steinway artists and is featured on four compact disc recordings. He is a recipient of the Idaho Commission on the Arts fellowship award and the Idaho Governor’s Award for excellence in the arts.


JUNIOR (ages 11 – 14)

FIRST PLACE: Jaden Zhang (student of Ni Liu and Peter Mack)
SECOND PLACE: Hanjia Guo (student of Dona Bender)
THIRD PLACE: Diana Ouyang (student of Ivona Kaminska Bowlby)

Daniella Tsang  (student of Ni Liu)
Sunny Wang (student of Barbara Roberts and Renato Fabbro)
Constantina Tsang (student of Ni Liu)
Jesse Morris (student of Willard Schultz)
Ricky Qiu (student of Jeffrey Savage)
Zhirui Jerry Li (student of Peter Mack)
Alan Ying (student of Sasha Starcevich)

SENIOR (ages 15 – 18)

FIRST PLACE: David Shichu Liu (student of Ivona Kaminska Bowlby)
SECOND PLACE: Andrew Flurry (student of Oksana Ezhokina)
THIRD PLACE: Anna Wang (student of Nicole Kim)

Paige Wiesinger (student of Kathy Tung and Oksana Ezhokina)
David Lin (student of Sumiyo Ohuchi)
Rosario Araceli Tarabi (student of Julie Swienty)
Andrea Liao (student of Anaida Nagdyan)
SiQi He (student of Barbara Miller)



2016 OAC Winners (pdf)

2015 OAC Winners (pdf)

2014 OAC Winners (pdf)

2013 OAC Winners  (pdf)

2012 OAC Winners  (pdf)