LAWRENCE -- For flutist Annie Davidson, it's not just practice, but also persistence, that makes perfect.
Davidson, a Russell native who graduated in May 2003 with a bachelor's degree in flute performance from the University of Kansas, won first place in the division-level Music Teachers National Association competition, Jan. 16 in Boulder, Colo. She now proceeds to the final round of the MTNA Young Artist Competition, March 29 in Kansas City, Mo. She is the daughter of Dennis Davidson, Russell. She attended Russell High School and Barton County Community College in Great Bend.
The MTNA competitions consist of three levels: state, division and national. The competitions are designed to encourage exceptionally talented young artists in the pursuit of musical excellence and to recognize outstanding achievement in the music teaching profession. Davidson won first place at the division level of MTNA's Young Artist Competition, an event open to musicians ages 19 through 26.
Davidson has been participating in the MTNA competitions since junior high and high school, during which she frequently placed at the division level.
"I thought I would give it one more try this year in hopes that persistence counts for something," she said, explaining that she participated in last year's national Young Artist Competition but didn't win the top prize.
"I am super excited to get to go to nationals," Davidson said. "I learned so much from my experience last year that I feel much more prepared for what is going to be expected of me. I wanted one more chance to try for the gold, and I was fortunate enough to get it."
Davidson credits her success to the helpful instruction she has received from David Fedele, KU assistant professor of flute. After graduating from KU, she returned to study privately with Fedele, who joined the KU faculty in fall 2003. MTNA competition guidelines instruct competitors to put together two pieces of contrasting styles, for a total of 40 minutes of music. Davidson followed Fedele's advice and created a recital-length program, including selections by Bach, Francis Poulenc, Aaron Copland and Kazuo Fukushima -- well over 40 minutes of music. She played bits and pieces of each selection, giving judges an impressive musical array demonstrating her talent with the flute.
In the national competition, Davidson will share the spotlight with her good friend Amir Khosrowpour, an Irvine, Calif., senior in piano performance and music composition at KU who has been her accompanist for five years. She met him the first week of her college career.
"When you know someone for that long musically and personally, you are bound to make amazing music," she said. "I just feel really lucky to have him, and I do think it makes our music extra special."
Khosrowpour also brings a winner's experience to the competition: He took first place in the piano division of the 2002 MTNA Collegiate Artists Performance Competition. He is the son of Paul and Feri Khosrowpour, Irvine, Calif., and attended Woodbridge High School.
As it did with Khosrowpour, a win at the national level for Davidson will draw attention to the quality of student musicians at KU. Her name and affiliation with KU will be published in American Music Teacher Magazine, a national publication that goes out to all the music teacher associations around the country. Such recognition undoubtedly will help her in her career ambitions in teaching and performance. She enjoys having a private studio of 13 flute students and loves playing for an audience.
"Performing is one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced," she said. "I love the energy and passion of a live performance, and I love being able to collaborate with other musicians. It's one of the most amazing things I can imagine ever doing."
The Department of Music and Dance is one of three academic units of the KU School of Fine Arts, which is also the parent organization for the departments of art and design and the Lied Center of Kansas. For more information on Davidson's achievement or to schedule an interview, the media may contact Becca Ramspott at (785) 864-5567.
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