Outstanding Young Pianists

Friday, January 8, 2016, 7:30pm
Concert is free and open to the public.
Doors open 30 minutes in advance of concert.


Jacob Skiles
Zach Yu
Brenna Rodriguez
Viann Yu


Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23 | Frédéric Chopin
Toccata Op. 15 | Robert Muczynski

An Elfin Round, Op. 7, No. 6 | Edward MacDowell
Andante and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 | Felix Mendelssohn

Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 | Frédéric Chopin
The Cat and the Mouse (Scherzo Humoristique) | Aaron Copland

The Fountain of the Acqua Paola Op. 7, No. 3 | Charles T. Griffes
Scherzo Op. 20, No. 1 | Frédéric Chopin


On Monday, December 7, 2015, advanced piano students of grades 5-12 auditioned to perform at Friday Musicale as the 2016 Class of Outstanding Young Pianists.

Honorable Mention: Jacob Skiles (Vickie Stake, piano teacher)

7th-8th Grade Winner: Zach Yu (Mary Lou Krosnick, piano teacher

9th-10th Grade Winner: Brenna Rodriguez (Joan Cordell, piano teacher)

11th-12th Grade Winner: Viann Yu (Peggy Edwards, piano teacher)

Jacob Skiles, 18, is in 12th grade at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in the piano department, led by Vera Watson. He has taken piano lessons for 10 years, the majority of which under the tutelage of Beth Martelli, and has now been studying privately with Vickie Stake for a year and a half. In the summer of 2013, he and several other Douglas Anderson music students attended the Boukobza Academy in France and Belgium to study with concert pianist, Laurent Boukobza. Jacob regularly participates in local piano competitions, receiving honors and superior ratings, as well as awards within the Douglas Anderson piano department. He has experience teaching beginning piano lessons and he tutors students in music theory and calculus at school. Jacob has a 2nd dan black belt in tae-kwon-do and in his free time he enjoys doing advanced math, listening to classical music, and worshipping God at Southside Baptist Church. Jacob wishes to study piano performance in college and loves to bring glory to God through piano.

Zach Yu is a seventh grade student in the gifted program of the James Weldon Johnson Magnet Middle School. His piano studies include five and one-half years of formal private training with his teacher, Mary Lou Wesley Krosnick, recently retired Distinguished Performer-in-Residence at Jacksonville University.

Tonight Zack will be presented for the second time as a first-place winner in the Friday Musicale Outstanding Young Pianist Competition. In 2014 he performed as first place winner in the 5th and 6th grade division.

Additionally, in all of his entrance categories including piano solo, piano concerto and sight playing, Zach has received superior rating in both the Florida Federation of Music Clubs St. Johns District auditions and in the Greater Jacksonville Federation Piano Competitions for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2014 he won the first prize in both his solo and concerto divisions in the aforementioned competition. In 2014 Zach also won the District IV Junior Piano Concerto Competition of the Florida State Music Teachers Association.

Along with his interest in piano, Zach is an enthusiastic athlete, excelling in tennis, golf and basketball.

Brenna Rodriguez, 16, is a homeschooled sophomore currently enrolled in the Classical Conversations Challenge IV program. She takes piano lessons from Mrs. Joan Cordell, Choral Director at Trinity Christian Academy. For the past five years, Brenna has successfully participated in Student Day, the Student Day Honors Recital, and Federation. The 2016 Outstanding Young Pianists Competition is Brenna’s first piano competition. She also studies jazz under Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Florida, Lynne Arriale. Brenna is currently the pianist for the Northeast Florida Conservatory Jazz Band under the direction of Dr. Marc Dickman. Brenna is the music director and pianist for the youth department at the First United Pentecostal Church of Jacksonville. She also studies and competes in the area of vocal performance under the instruction of Maylynn Leporacci. Brenna plans to major in a combination of Jazz Studies, Piano Performance, and Vocal Performance.

Viann Yu, 17, is a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She is from Hong Kong and moved to the U.S.A. five years ago.  She is currently taking private piano lessons from Mrs. Peggy Edwards and classes with Mrs. Vera Watson (high school piano instructor). Viann received the “Bravo” Award for DA Piano Department 2012-2013 school year (highest honorary recognition in each arts area department); she is also a member of Tri-M Music Honor Society. She was chosen as a keyboardist in pit orchestra for DA Musical Theatre Department’s production for 3 consecutive years (2012-2014); Beauty and the Beast, Ragtime & Violet. In 2014, she was chosen as the pianist for DA Wind Symphony to perform at the Nuremberg Bandshell in Central Park and Carnegie Hall in New York City. On October 2014, she was chosen as piano soloist for Concerto Concert at Jacksonville University's Terry Concert Hall. She was chosen as duo pianist in DA’s Extravaganza 2015 and she will be performing as solo pianist for Extravaganza 2016. Viann won 1st place in the “Very Difficult I, Musically Advanced I, Musically Advanced II”(2013-2015) Sightplaying category for FFMC Junior State Convention and the Greater Jacksonville Piano Competition. She also won 1st place Piano Duo “Musically Advanced” for both events, as well as numerous other awards in many categories. Viann recently won the Special Chopin Prize Award at the MTNA Senior Piano Competition. She plans to major in Piano Performance or accompanist in the future.