UAB piano students Dina Kasman, Mira Walker win state MTNA auditions

Kasman and Walker are music majors in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music, and both are in the Honors College’s University Honors Program.

mtna piano winners streamFrom left: Dina Kasman, Mira Walker and Jacob Skiles (his photo by Tiffany Manning)Piano students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham won at the Alabama State Music Teachers National Association audition, held Nov. 2-3 at Birmingham-Southern College.

Students from all of Alabama’s leading music institutions took part in the annual competition.

Freshman Dina Kasman of Vestavia, Alabama, won the MTNA state auditions in the Senior Piano Division, and junior Mira Walker of Birmingham won in the Young Artist Piano Division. Kasman and Walker are music majors in the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music, and both are in the UAB Honors College’s University Honors Program.

Junior Jacob Skiles was named an alternate winner in the MTNA state auditions in Young Artist Piano Division. Skiles is a music major in the Honors College’s Science and Technology Honors Program.

All three are students of artist-in-residence and Distinguished Professor of Piano Yakov Kasman, DMA.

“This is a tremendous success for these UAB Department of Music students,” Kasman said.

“We had three students competing, and they took three top places in state auditions.”

Kasman and Walker will now represent Alabama in the Southern Division MTNA Competition in January 2019. Each will record her program on video and submit that recording for the Southern Division competition.

The MTNA National Student Competitions are the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country. Each year, thousands of students compete for top prizes and national recognition. The three-tiered competitions begin at the state round. The first-place winner of each state’s competition will advance to a division competition. Division winners compete in the national finals at the annual MTNA National Conference.

The purpose of the competitions is to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence. The state competitions are considered the primary educational level, with the division and national levels’ showcasing outstanding performance and honoring significant pedagogical achievement.