Dr. Madeline Williamson
Professor Emerita, Piano Faculty of Arizona State University, Tempe AZ
Sole Proprietor of Los Alamos Piano Studio

I am once again eagerly anticipating the Dennis Alexander Piano Competition for the third, consecutive year of participation with my students. I have been delighted with the great, positive competition atmosphere provided for each-and-every-one of the students---whether they depart as actual prize winners or as enthusiastic participants.  You, Dr. Vetrinskaya, and assisting faculty at the New Mexico School of Music make this a wonderful, affirmative, and expansive performance experience for every student who participates. The reason for that is the great effort made by everyone so that every competing student feels like a winner!  Your warm, personal acknowledgement of each, individual student; the awarding of a handsome certificate and performance medal to all participants; and finally, presenting an autographed copy of one of your compositions to every single student, makes the competition memorable for each participant.

Also, the key element of flexibility of repertoire choice makes each entry very “customized” for the student. Being able to enter a work of the student’s own choosing in contrast to also selecting their second work from the varied array of your own engaging pieces at each level makes this highly  individualized,  From amongst all the NM competitions available, the Dennis Alexander Competition is the one which both my students and their parents most enjoy.  Significantly, my students’ parents have always felt especially welcomed, included, and comfortable in the cordial, “festival” atmosphere created throughout the weekend.  

I must mention how well-organized and effectively run the entire competition is and commend you for your commitment to securing the high caliber of artistry and expertise contributed by the panel of distinguished judges.  Also, the facilities for warming up at the NM School of Music are plentiful and excellent, whereas the Yamaha nine-foot Concert Grand generously provided by PianoWerkes of Albuquerque is a dream instrument on which the students can best demonstrate their maximum potential. It is an equally exciting aspect to incorporate the Artist Recital one evening and to have students and teachers further inspired by the Master Class you present. All these notable facets serve to build in a crescendo for the final recital of the Student Winners.  Personally, I couldn’t be more delighted –and equally grateful—for this opportunity for students, parents, and teachers in NM.  Bravo Dennis!