One Penn State student said a great part about being a musician is digging into a piece and finding the meaning in it — a skill he utilized in a recent major competition.
Penn State graduate Daniel Glessner won the Young Artist Competition in the piano category at the Music Teachers National Association's Pennsylvania State Competition.
The competition was held on Oct. 28 at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa.
Steven Smith, Glessner’s private studio professor, said Glessner will be moving on to the divisional competition, which will be held in early January.
“My first thought was just surprise that I had won,” Glessner, Class of 2012, said.
Smith said the performance was “thrilling” and felt that Glessner was deserving of the accomplishment.
Smith said Glessner played an extensive program that included about 30 minutes of memorized music. The program incorporated works by Chopin, Bach, Schubert, Ravel and Liszt.
Smith said he advised Glessner to take part in the competition because it was well-suited for his age group.
“There are a lot of competitions for young professionals, but not a lot for the in-between age,” Smith said.
He said the Penn State community has experience with the competition. Smith said seven Penn State students have won in the past.
Glessner said his career as a pianist began at age 3, when his parents heard him playing “Three Blind Mice” by ear on a toy piano. He began taking formal lessons a few years later.
“I didn’t want them at first, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I really enjoyed it,” Glessner said.
Glessner is currently enrolled in the Professional Performance Certificate program, which is a one-year program, he said.
Lisa Stamm, administrative support assistant for the graduate program of the School of Music, said the program is for performing musicians, and it gives them experience and the ability to have a private study with the teachers while participating in ensembles.
Glessner said he is also currently applying for doctoral programs, but he plans to continue on with both performing and teaching after school.
“I really do enjoy performing, but I also find that teaching and helping people is also quite fulfilling,” he said.
Glessner said he couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else.