Stephen Beus

Photo of Stephen Beus“Mesmerizing… explosive… intelligent… he belongs on the world stage” (Salt Lake Tribune). In the space of four months, American pianist Stephen Beus won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon) and he was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).      

As a result of winning the Juilliard School Concerto Competition Mr. Beus made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra and James DePreist, playing Prokofiev Concerto No. 3. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Gulbenkian Symphony (Lisbon), Oxford Philomusica, the Tivoli Symphony (Copenhagen), the Tbilisi National Opera Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Royal Philharmonic of Morocco (Casablanca), the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra (Finland) as well as with the Hamburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, Santa Fe, Utah, Fort Worth, Tucson, Yakima, Bellevue, Salt Lake, Eastern Sierra, Corvallis, Jacksonville, Texarkana and Walla Walla Symphonies.

Equally active as a soloist, Mr. Beus has performed at Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot (Paris), Merkin Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Central Conservatory (Beijing), Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Queluz Palace (Lisbon) and has performed for the Dame Myra Hess and Fazioli Salon series (Chicago), the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York City), and has given recitals across the United States as well as in Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Georgia, China, France, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Morocco. 

Born and raised on a farm in eastern Washington, Mr. Beus began lessons at age 5 and made his orchestral debut four years later. He went on to win numerous national and international competitions throughout his youth, capturing the attention of both audiences and critics. Commenting on Mr. Beus’ competition success, Fanfare magazine writes: “In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.”     

Mr. Beus holds degrees from Whitman College, The Juilliard School, and Stony Brook University, and his teachers have included Leonard Richter, Robert McDonald, Gilbert Kalish, Christina Dahl, and Paulette Richards. He has recorded on the Endeavor Classics, Harmonia Mundi, and Centaur Records labels. Stephen Beus is a Steinway Artist and currently teaches at Brigham Young University.  For more details, visit

Melody Bober

Photo of Melody BoberAs a composer, she enjoys creating motivational piano pieces that foster her students' understanding and love of music.

Melody graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a bachelor's degree in music education. She later received a master of arts degree in piano performance from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Melody credits much of her success to her influential teachers who include Joel Shapiro and Andrew Froelich (piano), Mary Hoffman (music education), and Tony Caramia (jazz).

An active church pianist and accompanist, Melody has also held the position of church music director. In addition to teaching piano in her private studio, Melody's music-teaching experience includes 20 years of public school and two years at the university level.

A dynamic clinician and innovative composer, Melody is in great demand at conventions and workshops for piano teachers across North America. She resides in Minnesota with her husband Jeff.

Scott Carrell

Photo of Scott CarrellScott Carrell, D.M.A., has presented numerous performances in the U.S. and abroad, including concerts in Germany, Italy and China. In fall 2016 he released his third disc, world premiere recordings of Piano Works of Noël Gallon. He teaches piano, related courses, and music theory at Harding University.


Lauren Schack Clark

Photo of Lauren Schack ClarkLauren Schack Clark has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the US, in Europe, and in China.  She has collaborated with faculty members of over twenty universities throughout the world, including Eastman School of Music and University of Michigan, and with principal orchestral players from groups such as the Boston Symphony.  She has presented at the MTNA National Conference, is an MTNA Foundation Fellow, and was the MTNA South Central Division Competitions Chair for four years.  She holds degrees from Boston University, Northwestern University, Longy School of Music, and Hartt School of Music.  She is on the faculty of the Saarburg International Music School and Festival in Germany, and has taught at Arkansas State University for over fourteen years. 

Sean Slade

Photo of Sean SladeSean Slade studied piano performance and pedagogy for 6 years with Paul Pollei, founder of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. He is co-creator of the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading. He consults and trains teachers, colleges, and universities on how to use technology to engage music students at a higher level of neurological learning.

Suzanne Torkelson

Photo of Suzanne TorkelsonDr. Suzanne Torkelson is Professor of Piano at Wartburg College, as well as Director of the Tower School of Music, a program of pre-college students studying with Wartburg’s student teachers. As past president of the Iowa Music Teachers Association (IMTA) and Repertoire Chairperson for the state of Iowa, she is actively involved in the professional field of piano and piano pedagogy. She is a frequent speaker in the areas of piano performance and pedagogy and has received the Master Teacher Award from both MTNA and IMTA.

During her many years as Iowa’s Repertoire Chair, she published five editions of the IMTA Syllabus Repertoire List, as well as reviews of new music in the Iowa Music Teachers Magazine.  Dr. Torkelson spent the 2016-2017 academic year on sabbatical in London, finishing the last of the eight levels of Etudes with Technique© series for FJH Music. She has served MTNA at all levels, most recently as West Central Division Director and on the national board of directors.

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