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Student pianist wins Bach Festival competition

March 16, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University student took home top honors in the collegiate division of the recent Bach Festival Keyboard Competition for Young Performers in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Monica Washington, a junior from Holt, Mich., won for her performance of Bach English Suite No. 2 and has been invited to perform on the winners recital Sunday, April 15, at Grand Rapids Community College. The competition was held Feb. 17 as part of the 2007 Grand Rapids Bach Festival.

Washington is a double major in piano performance and Spanish. She is the pianist in the WMU student ensemble Trio Aparicion and is the student of Dr. Stephen Zegree, the WMU Bobby McFerrin Professor of Jazz.

Zegree says his student is deserving of the honor.

"Monica is a wonderfully gifted student," Zegree says. "She combines a terrific technique with artistry and a real flair for performance".

Washington is a graduate of Holt High School and has performed in several state piano festivals and solo and ensemble competitions throughout her high school and college career. In 2004, she was named a Medallion Scholar, the highest honor WMU bestows on an incoming freshman. The Medallion Scholarships constitute one of the largest merit-based awards in American public higher education, and only the very best students are considered for the award.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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