Amelia McAnear’s rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” earned her the first place prize at the Park Cities School of Music’s Five-Year Anniversary Talent Contest on Saturday Sept. 10.
McAnear, 12, who studies voice under Lainey Bernstein, stole the show among many other courageous young contestants who took to the stage. Kids ages 5-18 were eligible to compete and win an acoustic guitar. Some kids practiced for weeks leading up to the big day and others took their chances at the last minute.
Local singer/songwriter Sean Canavin and composer Mark Landson, director of Open Classical, judged the contest and awarded McAnear a certificate for a custom acoustic guitar and free lessons at the Park Cities School of Music. Alexander Hail, 12, came in at second place, while Savannah Hail, 10, took third.
Park Cities School of Music founder Eva Brandys was proud to offer a platform for kids to present their best.
Brandys’ musical talent earned her a ticket out of communist Poland. After studying at Dallas Baptist University, where she achieved her bachelor of music in piano performance, and SMU, where she got her master in music education with a concentration in piano performance and pedagogy, she realized along her journey that her true ambition was to open a music school and help children achieve their artistic talents.
Brandys attributes Park Cities School of Music’s success to the fact that they offer talent evaluations, employ teachers with a Masters and DMA degree in pedagogy and performance, emphasize music theory and musicianship, and offer students the chance to perform in a formal recitals, concerts, and community events.
“It’s an exciting time where I can look back and see the growth of our student body and individual student talent,” Brandys says. “Our fall semester is beginning, and I hope to continue building a ‘love story’ between music and children in our sixth year.”