Katie Weinrauch – a talented 11-year-old piano player who is the daughter of Dave and Tina Weinrauch of Lampman – attended a national recital last month in London, Ontario.
Katie earned the opportunity in June when she was awarded the Conservatory Canada "Medal of Excellence" Award for obtaining the highest mark in Saskatchewan on her Grade 3 piano exam.
Katie and her family attended the awards banquet and recital in London, and she performed a selection, "German Dance," that was part of her June exam.
"It was a little overwhelming," said Tina Weinrauch. "There are a lot of very talented children out there. There were also a lot of people who sang who had received awards for singing. It was very nicely set up, and it was a very nice evening."
There were several other people from Saskatchewan at the recital, Tina said, including the Grade 4 medal of excellence recipient.
"It was well worth going to, as it was the experience of a lifetime," said Tina. "I'm glad we went."
Katie has been playing the piano since she was four years old. She said she really enjoys the art form. She practices for two to three hours a week to enhance her skills.
She is now in Grade 4 piano.
Her instructor, Jane Heska, said Katie had to perform some difficult selections to finish with the highest Grade 3 piano marks in Saskatchewan. She had to meet a series of technical requirements, and she had to choose six piano selections to perform from memory.
"There were some questions regarding her pieces and composers that she'd chosen," said Heska. "Also, there were ear tests and sight reading (components) that are included as well.
"Each category has an allotted amount of marks, and they would score according to their performance."
Katie selected a baroque piece, a classical selection, a romantic piece and a song of her own choosing from any genre; often students select a popular song, Heska said.
Heska has been teaching piano for about 40 years, and Katie is the first student of hers to win such a prestigious award. Heska said it reflects how talented and hard-working Katie is, and Heska is very proud of her.