By Kathy L. Collins

Music Showcase hosted its Seventh Annual International Piano Guild Award Ceremony on in May. Grace Rowlette, Amelia Fong, Kyle Ballado and Thomas Berrie received superior marks. More than a dozen students from Music Showcase and the area performed before a judge in a closed juried event at Music Showcase. Students who participate in the International Piano Guild must memorize and play scales and songs.

The International Piano Guild holds yearly auditions open to all students of a registered Guild Piano Teacher.

The purpose of the Guild is to encourage growth and enjoyment of the piano. Auditioning students receive the prestige of becoming members of the Guild for a year and receive a report card, community service credit and academic accreditation on college applications and resumes.

Rowlette of Valrico is 10-years-old. She has been practicing the piano for just under three years and has already competed in the International Piano Guild twice. Fong, 14, is a student at Strawberry Crest IB High School. She has been taking piano for over 10 years at Music Showcase. Fong has participated in the International Piano Guild for eight years. Ballado is a 13-year-old Riverview resident. He has been in the International Piano Guild for eight years. He attends Williams Middle Magnet School. Berrie will be a senior at Newsome High School. He has been in the International Piano Guild for three years.

Jean Hackley ,a music instructor at Music Showcase since 1999, teaches all four of these students. “The Guild makes the students concentrate and study more. They seem to understand more of what the composer is trying to convey through the music,” said Hackley.

Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, visit

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