Rhys Burgess is a senior piano performance major at Oakland University. He recently won the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and will perform with the orchestra in February. In January of 2014, he was the winner of the Rosamund P. Haeberle Piano Award from the Tuesday Musicale of Greater Pontiac, and a winner of the 2015 Oakland Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. In April of 2015 he was awarded the Oakland University Joyce Adelson Piano Ensemble award, alongside fellow pianist Hannah Bossner.
In addition to his solo studies, Rhys is an active student accompanist at Oakland University and enjoys collaborating with high school and fellow college student musicians in both vocal and instrumental music, and plans to pursue collaborative studies in graduate school. Rhys is a resident of Rochester, Michigan.
Alexander Kopitz received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Oakland University in 2015, as the youngest student in his graduating class. At Oakland he studied piano under Dr. Rebecca Happel and previously with Mary Siciliano. He is pursuing his Master of Music degree at Wayne State University, studying with Robert Conway.
Alex recently won the Tuesday Musicale of Greater Pontiac Rosamond P. Haeberle Piano Awardis as well as the Wayne State Concerto Competition. He is the 2015 recipient of the Jennifer Scott Memorial Award, the 2014 winner of the MaTilDa award for Outstanding Student in Piano Performance and a 2014 winner of the Oakland Symphony Concerto Competition, where he performed a movement of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the orchestra. He is also a 2014 winner of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In addition, Alex is the 2013 Detroit Chapter Mu Phi Epsilon Salon Scholarship recipient. Besides his studies, Alex teaches private lessons, performs at weddings and church, and regularly works as an accompanist.
Richard Hou is a senior at Detroit Country Day School (DCDS). He started playing piano at the age of 6 and currently studies with Mary Siciliano. He performed in Carnegie Hall at the age of 8, as a winner of the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati. Richard won 1st at the MDML Young Artist Competition in 2013, and 1st in the 2010 MMTA Concerto Competition, Elementary Division. In 2014, he placed 2nd at the MMTA Concerto Competition, Senior Division and was a State Finalist in the MMTA Solo Competition, Senior Division. In 2015, he earned Honorable Mention at the MMTA Solo Competition Senior Division.
He has also participated in the Tuesday Musicale’s Student League since 2011. In addition to music, he enjoys the maths and sciences. He has been an avid participant of his school’s Science Olympiad Team, winning state-level titles, while participating, and receiving awards in various math competitions. He also runs cross-country and track & field at DCDS.
Claire Wan is more than just a freshman at Northville High School. She’s a hard working young musician. Claire started playing piano when she was four years old. Since then, she likes it so much that playing music for others to listen and enjoy is something she always wants to do. In summer of 2014, she was admitted to Interlochen Arts Camp, and studied in the Intermediate Advanced piano program for 6 weeks.
This summer, Claire participated in SMU Institute for Young Pianists, and won the first place of 2015 Young Artist Competition at SMU IYP. In addition to play piano, Claire was the first chair for flute in the Hillside Middle School Band for 2 years. This fall, she will play flute for Michigan Youth Symphonic Band at U of M. Not only does Claire like being a musician, she is also an achieved athlete who had state swim cuts, and broke school track records. She aspires to share music with the community while continuing to succeed as an athlete.
Shuheng Zhang has been passionate about music since he started piano lessons at almost nine years old. Within just four years of study, he quickly flourished and became a top prize winner at numerous piano competitions, including 2015 MTNA Junior Performance Competition (State), 2015 and 2014 MMTA Concerto Competitions and Solo competitions, Cooper International piano Festival competition, Albion college International Piano Festival competition, Detroit Tuesday Musicale Young Artist Competition, MDML Young Artist Competition, Oakland University Piano Day Competition, LAPTF competition, among others. Shuheng was selected as one of the 14 semifinalists of International Institute of Young Musician competition in 2015.
In addition, Shuheng has performed in masterclasses lead by notable pianists such as Nelita True, Logan Skelton, John O’Conor, Alan Chow, Paulina Dokovska, Sean Duggan, and Thomas Lymenstull. He has been praised for his talent, sensitivity, interpretation and musicianship. A well-rounded student, Shuheng also plays hockey and clarinet.