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Students in HPU’s Pre-College Music program recognized at spring music exhibitions

BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2021 – Students involved in Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music program were honored at music exhibitions this spring. Three students were recognized at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Regional Solo and Ensemble Contest and 20 were recognized for their performances at the District 8-4 Junior Festival.

The UIL Regional Solo and Ensemble Contest took place in Stephenville in February. Those who participated in the competition from HPU’s Pre-college Music program were Andrew Boren, Vic Cooper and Matthew Till. Each competed in the Piano Solo Event.

The music program of the UIL is designed to support and enrich the teaching of music as an integral component of the public school curriculum, as well as allowing students studying privately with a teacher the opportunity to perform a solo on the instrument of their choice. Students earning a rating of one at the regional competition are eligible to advance to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest hosted annually in Austin on Memorial Day weekend.

All those who competed received the rating of one, allowing each to advance to the next level of competition.

“We are very proud of these young students and their initiative in performing,” said Diane Owens, director of the Pre-College Music program, “not only with their high school ensembles – but working independently on their piano solos.”

The District 8-4 Junior Festival, in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs, held its local competition at HPU in March. Students entered in the competitive category who receive a “superior” rating advance to the state competition, which will be held virtually this year.

The following students earned the superior rating in Piano Solo: Sidney Becktold, Andrew Boren, Alecs Butka, Brooklyn Butka, Maddox Butka, Sophia Butka, Vic Cooper, Emma Ewen, Katy Means, Aishwarya Nigalye, Braylee Reeves, Lucy Smith, Matthew Till, Akira Tobias, Drew Walker and Alivia Waller.

The students who earned the superior rating in Vocal Solo: Musical Theatre were Riley Abernathy, Sidney Becktold and Alivia Waller.

Sidney Beckhold earned the superior rating in Vocal Solo: Art Song. Gwenie Rosborough and Ava Sparks-Hansen participated in the non-competitive category.

“Our congratulations go out to these students and their teachers for their accomplishments,” Owens shared.

For further information about the Pre-College Music program at Howard Payne University, please contact Diane Owens at 325-649-8501 or


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