Mandy Dennis :: Walgreens National Concerto Competition

Mandy Dennis

Mandy Dennis (MYA Alum ’98)
1996 MYA Junior Division and 1997 MYA Senior Division, cello
Kabalevsky Cello Concerto
Shostakovich Cello Concerto

College: Indiana University

Other Competitions:
awards from Stulberg, Aberdeen and IU Cello Competition

What are you doing now? Do you still play your instrument?
Working as a musician and music educator. I am currently coaching chamber music at MYA!

What do you remember most from the competition?
Walking into the room with the attitude of having fun and staying focused, remembering all practice time was over and it was time to play music. When it was over, the walk out was humbling, I had done my best.

What tips do you have for working with your accompanist?
Know the piano part, sing it in your rests, and imagine what else is going on, even if you can't technically hear it. When it is finally heard, it is all the more enjoyable.

Were you nervous for the competition? How did you deal with it?
I believe breathing is the most important key to handling nerves. If a breath comes that wasn't expected, listen even harder to your phrase, it might be a message! If no breath comes when planned, keep listening, and possibly be a little flexible. It is counterproductive to dwell in that situation!

What is your advice for participants in the 15th Annual Walgreens Concerto Competition?
Stay healthy, practice, and sleep!