Hayes School of Music Piano Competition

Congratulations to the participants and winners of the

3rd Annual Hayes School of Music Piano Competition 

Pre-College Pianists – 8th–12th grade

May 21, 2022 - Appalachian State University, Boone NC


  • The Lucy Chu First Place Prize - $1,500 - Brandon Luo (Florence Ko, teacher)

  • Second Place Prize - tie - $1,000 - Olivia Li (Florence Ko, teacher) and Zhanshuo Zhang (Lisa Won Jung Kiser, teacher)

  • Third Place Prize - $750 - Shweta Shah (Edward Robie, teacher)

  • The Adrienne Finkel Special Prize* - $1,000 - Zhanshuo Zhang (Lisa Won Jung Kiser, teacher)

Additional Honors:   Full and partial scholarships to Cannon Music Camp at the Hayes School of Music;   Performance at the Winners' Showcase Concert - immediately following the Awards Ceremony


Kimberly Cann - Concert pianist, educator, Founding Director - Piano Lab Studios

Rodney Reynerson - Piano faculty, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University

James Douthit - Dean, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University

The piano competition was held in two rounds: a Youtube preliminary round and Live Final Round 

1) Major work of Bach (any Prelude and Fugue, etc.), Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart (any classical Sonata movement, without repeats)
2) Any piece of contrasting style
3) Special Prize Option: an original piano composition by an under-represented* composer (memorization optional)

       * Works by Black, Asian-Pacific Islander, Indigenous-American, Female/Non-Binary - possible selections can be: for repertoire suggestions, click on www.aseatatthepiano.com


Questions? Contact Competition Director, Laura Chu Stokes - hayespianocomp@appstate.edu


About Our Sponsors: 

Lucy Chu is a recognized piano teacher and music educator with over sixty years of teaching experience.  A native of Shanghai, Lucy received her Bachelors and Masters music performance degrees from Indiana University and continued her studies at the Juilliard and Mannes Schools of Music. She has also performed as a guest artist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 1989, she created and developed the E-Z Notes series of music teaching and learning tools, which are highly-regarded and endorsed by major composers and pedagogues.

Lucy's initiative to be the primary underwriter of  the Hayes School of Music Piano Competition stems from her commitment to furthering music education at the pre-college level. She says, "the Hayes School of Music Piano Competition has been one of the most gratifying projects that I have had the pleasure of being a part of in my many years of supporting the arts. It is wonderful to hear these dedicated young pianists with such inspirational talent. I look forward to watching them develop as young artists in the future.”

Adrienne Finkel has been a longtime patron and supporter of the arts and cultural scene of the High Country, incuding the Appalachian Summer Festival, Turchin Center for the Arts, the Hayes School of Music and the Temple of the High Country, among others.


Previous Winners


1st Prize: Oscar Paz-Suaznabar - (Marjorie Lee, teacher)

2nd Prize: Trung Nguyen - (Marjorie Lee, teacher)

3rd Prize:  Cristian Makhuli - (Dmitri Vorobiev / Paul Nitsch, teachers)

4th Prize: Elizabeth Qiu - (Marjorie Lee, teacher)


  • Alvin Chow - Chair, Piano - Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Rodney Reynerson - Piano faculty, Appalachian State University
  • Bair Shagdaron - Piano faculty, Appalachian State University 


1st Prize: Christopher Tavernier (John Cobb / Douglas Weeks, teachers)

2nd Prize: tie - Trung Nguyen (Marjorie Lee, teacher) and Kevin Xu (Florence Ko, teacher)

3rd Prize:  Tan Nguyen (Marjorie Lee, teacher)

Honorable Mention:  tie - Carson Garcia (Diane Higgins, teacher) and Dominic Rajagopal (Karen Boyd, teacher)


  • Dennis Alexander - Pedagogue / Composer, Alfred Publishing Co.
  • Rodney Reynerson - Piano faculty, Appalachian State University
  • Junie Cho - Piano faculty, Appalachian State University