Student Achievements


Michael Smith (2010), has just been elected to the Ensemble ACJW, an elite group co-sponsored by Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, and the Weill Music Institute. Michael was one of only two new piano fellows chosen this year from a field of stars from Juilliard and other leading graduate schools. He’ll receive support for two years, to live and perform in New York City, presenting concerts across all boroughs of the city.

Brent Funderburk (2009) received his Masters Degree in collaborative piano from the Juilliard School in 2011 under the tutelage of Brian Zeger, Margo Garrett, and Jonathan Feldman. He has participated in numerous renowned summer programs, including the Music Academy of the West, SongFest, and the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia Festival. He is currently a piano fellow for the Juilliard School Vocal Arts department, and has recently issued a CD for Violin and Piano.  He performed a debut concert at Carnegie’s Weill Hall this year with mezzo-soprano, Naomi O’Connell.

Leonard Hayes (2012) has just been accepted to the MM program at the Eastman School of Music under Douglas Humphries.

Jesse Pieper (2011) has just completed an MM in Piano Performance at University of Texas, Austin under Anton Nel.

Michael Smith (2011) is pursuing a DMA in Piano Performance at SUNY Stony Brook under Gilbert Kalish.  He spent the summerof 2012 as one of 10 instrumentalists, all awarded full scholarships, at Yale’s New Music Workshop in Norfolk, CT.

Hazim Suhadi (2012) has just completed a MM in Piano Performance at UW-Madison under Christopher Taylor.

Anna Reiser (2012) has just completed an MM in Piano Performance/Pedagogy at UW-Madison under Martha Fischer and Jessica Johnson.

Joe Hauer, a graduate of the Lawrence Academy pre-college division, was chosen as one of only 12 pianists to participate, cost-free, in PianoFest at the Hamptons.

Cameron Pieper, (2015) – Scholarship winner, Manhattan School of Music, M.M 2017.

Anthony Capparelli, (2015) – Scholarship winner, Manhattan School of Music, M.M 2017.

Anthony Capparelli (2015) and Ming Hu (2017), winner of full graduate Teaching Assistantships, University of Iowa School of Music.

Tammy Li, (2017) Winner of graduate funding, Indiana University School of Music



Hung Nguyen, Second Place in the first annual Steinway Competition, Division 3.

Mara Logan, Alternate in the Senior Performance division.


Nicholas Suminski, First place Winner MTNA State Auditions, Fall, 2017.

Noah Vazquez, Honorable Mention, MTNA State auditions, Fall, 2017.

Nicholas Suminski, Chosen for Gilmore Keyboard Festival Masterclass with Paul Lewis.


Elizabeth Vaughan  and Cameron Pieper were named co-winners of the 2015 Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Elizabeth performed Beethoven’s 4th piano Concerto, and Cameron performed Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto.

Cameron Pieper received first prize in the Schubert Club Competition.

Cameron Pieper received first prize and and Elizabeth Vaughan received second prize at the 2015 Wisconsin National Federation of Music Club Competition.

Ming Hu, Alternate, MTNA Young Artist  Division State Competition

Xiaoya Gao, Honorable Mention, MTNA Young Artist Division State Competition

Nicholas Suminski, Alternate, MTNA Senior Division State Competition


Tony Capparelli,  a senior and piano performance major, just won a Watson Fellowship! The extremely prestigious $28,000 grant was only awarded to a lucky 43 of the 700 applicants. Capparelli will spend his year in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, and Sweden studying Celtic and Scandinavian music and forklore. For more information, see the Watson website (above) and Lawrence University’s press release.

Elizabeth Vaughan received First Prize in the State MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition.

Elizabeth Vaughan received Second Place in the East Central Young Artist Piano Competition of MTNA.   She performed Bach, Chopin, Liszt, and Scriabin.


Leonard Hayes and Anthony Capparelli were awarded Honorable Mention in the Schubert Club College Scholarship Competition in St. Paul, MN.  Five of seven finalists came from the Kautsky studio: Anthony Capparelli, Jonathan Gmeinder, Leonard Hayes, Cameron Pieper, and Elizabeth Vaughan.

Allison Shinnick was one of two winners, university-wide, of the Lawrence Concerto Competition.

Laetitia Lehman-Pearsall and Tess Vogel were finalists in the Neale-Silva Competition of Wisconsin Public Radio


Michael Gold was awarded First Prize in the Young Artist Division 2012 State MTNA Competition.

Gabi Makuc was awarded First Prize in the 2012 State MTNA Senior Division Competition.

Cameron Pieper was the only pianist chosen as a winner in the 2012 Neale Silva competition of Wisconsin Public Radio.  Michael Gold and Le Kong were also finalists.

Michael Gold and Elizabeth Vaughan were chosen by the Piano Arts Competition to participate in masterclasses by James Giles (faculty, Nothwestern University) and Julian Martin (faculty Juilliard School)


Jonathan Gmeinder was awarded Alternate and Michael Gold and Mathias Reed received Honorable Mention in the Young Artist Division of the 2011 State MTNA Competition.

Tess Vogel was awarded Alternate and Elizabeth Vaughan received Honorable Mention in the 2011 state MTNA Senior Division Competition.

Dario LaPoma, Hazim Suhaid, and Daniel Kuzuhara were winners of the 2011 Neale-Silva Competition

Leonard Hayes won First Place in the 2011 Young Artist Division of the Tourgee Debose National Piano Competition held in Baton Rouge, LA


Jonathan Gmeinder was the State Winner of Senior MTNA Auditions.

Laura Hauer was a finalist in the Neale-Silva Competition.

Joe Hauer (Academy Student) was the winner of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, and the first place winner of WMTA Badger Auditions.

Leonard Hayes was one of four finalists, honorable Mention in Zelpha Wells Piano Competition for Collegiate Artists, and winner of The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) 2010 Scholarship Competition in Piano at the state and regional level.