Four students from local high schools showcased their talents at the 8th Annual Dahle Piano Competition on April 27 at the Dahle Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Idaho.
Green Canyon, Logan, Ridgeline and Sky View high schools each sent one student to represent them at the competition, where Green Canyon sophomore Emma Reed took home the first place.
“The talent that is shown is amazing,” said West Side High School Secretary Janalyn Brown. “It’s just unreal.”
Reed competed against nine other high school students from Northern Utah and Southeast Idaho. She received a $1,500 cash prize for winning first place, while LHS Freshman Gary Zhan placed second and received $750. Third place went to Jaden Klein from Skyline High School from Idaho Falls.
“I was very happy and it’s very nice to see hard work just pay off,” Reed said. “It was awesome to see my family there all supporting me, and it was just a very overwhelming feeling of happiness.”
Reed said she prepared for the competition with hours of practicing and the help of her teacher and mother. She also said the discipline of learning to play an instrument has helped her in everyday life.
For the competition, Reed performed Franz Liszt’s Sonetto 104 Del Petrarca.
Reed, who started playing the piano when she was about 8 years old, said music has helped her with stress and appreciates how timeless pieces can be.
“I’ve always felt that growing up music has just allowed me to take my mind off of stress,” Reed said. “I think it’s so cool that we can play something that is so old and it’s still so relatable and beautiful today.”
The competition invites high schools to send one representative each, but the competition does not stipulate how the participants are chosen.
“We choose not to have much to do with how a high school chooses their participants,” Brown said. “All we ask is that they do go through their high school department head.”
Olivia Merkley represented Ridgeline High School and Gracie Ashcroft represented Sky View High School. They each received $100 for their performances.