Lucy Lopez.

Music Showcase in Brandon hosted the 12th Annual International Piano Guild Award Ceremony in May. Approximately 30 pianists from the area, including 11 from Music Showcase, competed in the annual juried event. Four students from Music Showcase received high marks.

The Music Showcase students who placed included Kai Edwards, who received first place in State Competition; Catalina Van Bourgondien, who got a perfect score and placed first in District Competition; Vanessa Vasquez placed second in District Competition; and Lucy Lopez placed third.

The International Piano Guild holds yearly auditions around the world with music professionals grading students on accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, tone, interpretation, style and technique.

According to Debbie Evans with Music Showcase, “Students have to memorize and play as many as 10 songs and scales. The purpose of the Guild is to encourage growth and enjoyment of the piano.”

Students who audition become members of the Guild for one year. They receive report cards and they can receive community service credit and academic accreditation on college applications and resumes.

Kai Edwards.

Edwards, who is in the sixth grade, has participated in the National Piano Guild for three years. He auditioned using several classical pieces such as Hungarian Dance No. 5 as well as contemporary music including video game themes such as Super Mario Brothers, Mappy and Tetris.

Catalina Van Bourgondien.

Van Bourgondien is an 8-year-old second grade student who is homeschooled. She has been playing the piano for three years. She likes to play her songs very fast.

Vanessa Vasquez.

Vasquez, age 12, has been playing the piano for two years. However, she has been passionate about music her whole life. Not only an avid pianist, Vasquez has tested out of traditional schooling. After just three years of homeschooling, she scored above 12.9 in all areas of academia.

Lopez, who is eight years old, learned to read music before she learned how to read. Her love of music and the feeling it gives her has inspired her in many ways. Lopez began writing her own music at the age of six.

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

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