FCP Alumni Spotlights - 2018
Claire and Julianne McCollough
Claire and Julianne McCollough
Claire McCollough (at left) and her sister Julianne (at right) collectively won a total of SEVEN 1st prizes in the '18 festival!
Claire McCollough, age 18, earned FOUR First Prizes (the most in 2018):
• Best Pianist Studying with a CMTA Member ($50)
• Best Performance of a Work Written or Edited by Kevin Olson ($50)
• Best Performance of Clementi Op. 36 (Houle edition) ($50)
• Best Performance of a Lyrical and Predominantly Slow Work ($50)
Julianne McCollough, age 13 - THREE First Prizes earned her the highest dollar amount ($350 total):
• Best Performance of a Composition in any Style by Marjorie Burgess ($200)
• Most Versatile Pianist ($100)
• Best Demonstration of Genuinely Spontaneous Improv (solo piano) ($50)
Program by Claire McCollough (teacher: Janet Ali) Total: 15:00
Impressions on Red by Kevin Olson (b. 1989) 2:30
Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 3 by Muzio Clementi (1752-1832), edited by Arthur Houle
i. Allegro spiritoso 2:35
Prelude VI: Des Pas sur la Neige (Footprints in the Snow) in D minor by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) 4:30
Metamorphosis by WYNN-ANNE ROSSI (b. 1956) 2:40
Gladiolus Rag in A-flat Major by Scott Joplin (1868-1917) 2:45
Also: DUO WITH RORY DEVIN
Program by Julianne McCollough (teacher: Janet Ali) Total: 13:00
Buckaroo Blues in E-flat Major [from Cowboy Jazz II] by Arthur Houle (b. 1955) 0:50
Invention No. 7 in E Minor, BWV 778, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1785-1850) 2:20
Sonata in C Major, K.545, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 2:50
Blues by Five in B-flat Major by Red Garland (1923-1984) (including improvisation bass line accompaniment by Claire McCollough) 1:50
Blue Waltz in C Major by MARJORIE BURGESS (1915-2005) (including written embellishments and some by contestant) 1:20
Penny Candy in C Major (duet with Claire McCollough) by MARJORIE BURGESS (1915-2005) 1:50
Free improvisation based on a season and an emotion chosen by the judges ["Fall, dark"] 2:00
Claire's Bio (as of early 2019):
Claire began taking piano lessons at the age of 7 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Less than a year later, the McColloughs moved to Colorado, where Claire started lessons with Janet Ali. It was here where she discovered how much she enjoyed using piano to spread joy to those around her. Throughout the next eleven years, she performed yearly at National Federation of Music Clubs (regional and state levels), United States International Piano Duo Competition, and studio recitals. She taught beginner piano lessons starting in 8th grade and eventually had nine students.
In Claire’s senior year, she prepared a Guild High School Diploma Program in Social Music (scoring top marks) and earned a 75-point solo piano trophy from National Federation of Music Clubs (along with her four first-prize awards in the 2018 Festival for Creative Pianists).
Claire is now in her first year studying business at University of Colorado Boulder, and she misses piano very much. She hopes to continue playing and teaching on the side once she can fit a keyboard in her home again (dorm rooms are very small).
Her word of advice to piano students is to stick with piano through the first (sometimes more difficult) years because it only grows more fun from there. She wanted to quit in 6th grade, but she continued learning and has never regretted it. After all, it was only afterwards that Claire learned how much she values piano in order to express her artistry and emotions and share them with others.
Julianne's Bio (as of early 2019):
Julianne started piano lessons at age 5 with Janet Ali in Denver, Colorado. Throughout primary, elementary, and middle school, Julianne greatly enjoyed playing, practicing, and taking lessons for the piano. Over the next 8 years (and counting), she repeatedly took part in the National Federation of Music Clubs, scoring her 30-point cup for piano solo in 2016. She has performed in the United States International Piano Duo Competition three times, and in the 2019 USIDPC, Julianne and her partner Bethany Kempe placed third in the 17-18 category internationally. One of Julianne’s highlights of 2018 was participating in her first Festival for Creative Pianists, where she earned three first-prize awards.
Her favorite aspects of playing piano are improvising and learning jazz, which serve both as a treat to play and as a creative outlet.
Outside of lessons, Julianne loves to play the piano anywhere she can. She plays at some school events, and she is part of the middle school worship team at her church. Some of Julianne’s other interests include playing the harp, reading, writing stories, spending time with friends or family, and enjoying Colorado's nature.