MSU Billings piano student Ashlee Young wins major competition
September 29, 2008
Dorothea Cromley, Department of Music, 657-2042
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Ashlee Young, an award-winning piano student at Montana State University Billings, recently won the collegiate artist division in the Liberace Competition held in Las Vegas.
The competition was held in three parts and included submission of recordings followed by semi-finals Sept. 13 at the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas and the finals at Lutheran Community Center, also in Las Vegas. She played the “Taratnella” by Franz Liszt in her winning performance.
In addition to her $1,000 scholarship, she will be appearing with different orchestras and giving numerous recitals in Las Vegas in the coming months.
A senior from Billings studying with MSU Billings music professor Dorothea Cromley, Young has been competing against some of the top pianists in the country since she has been at MSU Billings.
She began her piano study at the age of four in Southern California, and continued studying with various teachers after her move to Nevada. In 2001, she came to Montana where she attended high school and studied with Kathleen Guehlstorff. In 2005, she auditioned and was accepted into the music department at MSU Billings and began her study with Cromley.
Throughout her career, Young has been an active performer, appearing in many recitals, festivals and competitions. In 2006, she traveled to Los Angeles to compete in the International Franz Liszt Competition where she received honorable mention. In 2006, she was also a finalist in the Coeur D’Alene Young Artist Competition.
She was the winner of the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras Competition in January 2007 and appeared with the Great Falls Symphony in March of 2007, billed on the same program as world renowned violinist, Midori. In addition to this performance, she appeared with the Billings Symphony Orchestra in November of 2007 and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra in December of 2007. Also last November, Young won the State Music Teacher’s National Association Competition at the state level and went on to compete in divisionals.
In 2007, she was a finalist in the Missoula Young Artist Competition and also the National Wideman Piano Competition. She won the VSA Arts International Young Soloist Award. In addition to her $5,000 prize, she performed at the Kennedy Center in May 2008.
Young intends to pursue a career as a concert pianist and devotes most of her time to her studies and the piano.