INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After 12 years of piano lessons and practice, practice, practice, Julia Lippert's time spent at the keyboard has certainly paid off.
The Rotary Club of Incline Village and the Tahoe Incline Rotary Club offer high school students the opportunity to participate in an annual music contest for a cash scholarship.
Julia's piano teacher, Elaine Courtney, encouraged Julia to enter the local competition on March 12, to see how she would do. Never having competed with her piano skills before, Julia was nervous, but she won the competition.
Another talented student of Elaine's, Mariposa Gollery, placed third in the event.
This win qualified Julia to move on to the regional Rotary competition on April 19, held at the Lake Tahoe School. The competition level grew at that event, but Julia won that event as well, and won another scholarship.
Having won the local and regional competitions, Julia qualified to compete for the top prize — a $1,000 scholarship at the district level during a May competition in Sparks.
Rotary District 5190 includes all of Northern Nevada to Tonopah and Northern California east of Sacramento and as far south as Bishop; it represents 13 districts and is the largest Rotary district in the United States.
Here, Julia competed against 11 other students who had also won their local and regional competitions, so the talent of all the participants was top notch. There were violinists, a cellist, other pianists, and students playing electric guitar and clarinet as well.
Students could play up to eight minutes of music, so the event produced more than two hours of high-quality music from all contestants.
Once again, much to her surprise, Julia won the event.
She was invited to play her two winning pieces at the Rotary dinner that same night and enjoy the dinner and presentation of the Rotary District 5190 conference that weekend.
Julia is very thankful that Rotary offers students the opportunity to compete with their musical talent and earn money to support their future plans beyond high school.
Julia will attend Seattle Pacific University in the fall as a pre-med student, but having participated in the three Rotary competitions is considering adding a minor in music to her college studies.
Elaine Courtney has been teaching piano in Incline Village since she moved here from Montana in 1986.