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Feb. 23, 2006
Contact: Erin Curtis-Dierks, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-9742.

KU doctoral student wins two top piano performance competitions

LAWRENCE — James Cockman III, a graduate student in piano performance at the University of Kansas, has won two top competitions and will be performing in the Jefferson City, Kansas City and Lawrence areas during March and April.

Cockman won the Feb. 4 Student Piano Auditions held by the Jefferson City (Mo.) Symphony. He is a first-year doctoral student from Pleasant Hill, Mo. As the winner, Cockman will perform with the Jefferson City Symphony on April 25. He also received a $400 honorarium to cover housing and travel expenses.

In addition, Cockman recently won the 2006 Young Artist Concerto Auditions at KU and will be performing Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Orchestra at the Lied Center on March 14. He will perform with the Kansas City Wind Symphony on April 2.

“Having opportunities to perform with orchestras is one of the most important accolades in a young pianist’s development,” said Jack Winerock, professor of piano and Cockman’s mentor. “Winning the Jefferson City Symphony auditions is a significant step in Cockman’s career goals.”

Every year, the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra sponsors auditions, offering the winner an opportunity to perform a major work with the orchestra during the Jefferson City Community Concert Association Series. Eligible candidates include Missouri students studying out of state, students studying at Missouri colleges and universities and student teachers.

Cockman graduated magna cum laude from William Jewell College in 2003 and received a master’s degree in piano performance from Central Missouri State University in 2005.

For more information, please contact the Department of Music and Dance in KU’s School of Fine Arts at (785) 864-3436.

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