Cumberland Valley School of Music students, Zakary Reynolds and Lauren Swain won first place in the United States International Duo Piano Competition held in Colorado Springs, CO on March 20, 2021. Zakary and Lauren are longtime students of CVSM instructor Susan Matson. Zakary and Lauren have already established themselves as excellent students at CVSM as they are the first and second place Piano Merit Award winners respectively in Piano for the 2020-2021 year. In addition to piano, Zakary is also the first-place Vocal Merit Award winner, earning him the Margaret Weeks Voice Award Scholarship.
Lauren Swain is the daughter of Dan and Julie Swain. Lauren has been studying piano for almost 14 years with Susan Matson and finished the 7th Suzuki book in 2019. She frequently plays in church as a soloist and accompanist. She enjoys collaborating with other musicians, including playing in ensemble with flute and other pianists. In May of 2019, she was awarded a perfect score in the Rockville Piano and String Competition and was invited to play in the Winner’s recital. Lauren also studies harp with Carol McClure and has won prizes in national and international competitions.
Zakary Mikael Reynolds is the son of William and Jamie Reynolds and is a 12th grade student at Greencastle-Antrim High School. Zak has been studying piano with Susan Matson for over 13 years. He participates in the school choir as a singer and accompanist and percussion in the band. In his junior year, he became drum major of the marching band. He has participated in District band (2019), District choir (2018-2020), Regional Choir Accompanist (2019-2020), Regional choir vocalist (2020), pianist for All-State Orchestra (2020), and All-State Choir vocalist (2020). He is also a keyboardist and organist for Spring BIC and Trinity Lutheran Churches. Zakary had the extreme honor of singing The National Anthem for Vice President Pence as he visited Manitowoc in 2019. A member of the Tri-M National Honor Society, Zak was also a CVSM Merit Award winner in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Zakary received the CSEHY Summer School of Music scholarship award of honor in 2019.
The United States International Duo Piano Competition was created in 1999. The mission of the USIDPC is to provide a top-quality international duo competition that challenges talented performers of all ages to reach their musical potential in a setting promoting international cooperation and the coming together of musicians in the spirit and joy that is music. Each year at the competition, students compete among 9 skill levels ranging from age 6 and below through adult. This year, 54 duos competed at the home of the event, the prestigious Broadmoor Hotel.