Hayes School of Music Piano Competition

3rd Annual Hayes School of Music Piano Competition - 2022

UPDATE:   The Dean of the Hayes School of Music, James Douthit, and I determined that the Piano Competition must be postponed until mid-spring 2022 for the health and safety of everyone involved due to the Covid-19 variant, while giving students the maximum benefit of a LIVE Finals event.


We sincerely hope that all interested participants will consider entering the Hayes School of Music Piano Competition next year.  Please email me at hayespianocomp@appstate.edu should you have any questions.   


Thank you for your understanding and patience,


Laura Chu Stokes

Director, Hayes School of Music Piano Competition

Appalachian State University



Where: Appalachian State University, Hayes School of Music - Boone, NC

Eligibility: Pre-College Pianists – 8th–12th grade

                   U.S. citizens with primary United States residence


  • The Lucy Chu First Place Prize:           $1,500
  • Second Place Prize:                               $1,000
  • Third Place Prize:                                      $750
  • The Adrienne Finkel Special Prize*:    $1,000

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

Bair Shagdaron - Piano faculty, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University

Rules and Regulations

The piano competition will be held in two rounds:

PRELIMINARY Round Repertoire:  YouTube recording submission deadline - mid-April, 2022

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: selected piece by an under-represented* composer 

        (memorization optional for this special prize)

       * Works by Black, Asian-Pacific Islander, Indigenous-American, Female/Non-Binary - possible selections can be:

           - Leslie Adams, Final Etude in C Major

           - Toru Takemitsu, Rain Tree Sketch - any movement

           - Lili Boulanger, Trois Morceaux - any movement(s)

           - Amy Beach, Barcarolle

           - Oswald Russell, Papillons 

           - Florence Price, Sonata in E minor - 2nd movement

If choosing repertoire for the special prize for a work by an under-represented composer, please email hayespianocomp@appstate.edu your selected work in advance for consideration by the judging panel.

Students may choose to either:

  • submit recorded pieces from just  1) and 2) of required repertoire, memorization required; or
  • submit the required selections and an optional work by an under-represented composer, memorization optional for the special prize

All recordings must be submitted by YouTube video or Google Drive links to hayespianocomp@appstate.edu.   

A preliminary round jury will select performers to compete in the final live round in Boone, NC at the Hayes School of Music on the Appalachian State University campus.  

Preliminary round submission deadline:  mid-April, 2022

FINAL Round Repertoire:  if invited to perform live, the same repertoire as submitted for the preliminary round must be performed at the final round.   

The total number of pieces performed should not exceed 30 minutes. 

The judging panel reserves the right not to choose any winners.  The decisions of the judging panel are final. 

Click here to register:  Hayes Piano Competition Registration link - any registrations received will be applied toward the mid-Spring 2022 competition


Competition Application and Fee

Contestants or a parent/guardian will complete a brief online registration process with required information and pay the non-refundable $35 fee.  

Invitations to contestants qualifying for the final LIVE round will be emailed 7-10 days after the Preliminary Round.  All finalists must be available to compete between 10 am and 4 pm during the Final Round.  Award winners will also be required to perform at the Winners' Showcase Concert immediately following the Competition Awards ceremony.

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.


Congratulations to the 2019 Award Recipients!

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - Final Round

1st Prize: Oscar Paz-Suaznabar - teacher: Marjorie Lee

2nd Prize: Trung Nguyen - teacher: Marjorie Lee

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

4th Prize: Elizabeth Qiu - teacher: Marjorie Lee


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