Ashlee Young, a pianist studying under Dorothea Cromley at Montana State University Billings, has added another win to her long list of accomplishments.
Young was honored earlier this month as the regional winner in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNAS) competition in Spokane. She now heads to the national finals in Atlanta, Ga., the last weekend in March. As the regional winner in a division that includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Washington and Oregon, Young received a $250 stipend to help with travel expenses. At the national event, she could win a new Steinway piano.
Young said the adrenaline she gets when performing and the artistry involved in her performances keeps her happily practicing piano up to eight hours a day.
"People think when you practice for eight hours day, it's monotonous. You're trying to get to know the piece so well, anything can go wrong and it will be fine because you're getting the musicality of the piece."
In the competition, Young performs 50 minutes of music, including pieces by Liszt, Haydn and Prokofiev.