Sarah Dipiazza, Madison, a sophomore performance major at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was among the few artists, ages 18-27, selected to advance to the semifinal round of the International Clarinet Association's Young Artist Competition.
The semifinals will take place July 22-26 in Madrid, Spain.
Dipiazza — who recently turned 20 — advanced to the semifinals from a preliminary recorded round of competition that included young artists from 12 countries.
The International Clarinet Association's Young Artist Competition is one of the preeminent competitions for clarinetists across the world.
With its strong undergraduate music program, UW-Eau Claire offers the kinds of opportunities and experiences that helped her gain the skills and the confidence she needed to successfully compete in the prestigious international competition, Dipiazza said.
"By enrolling in an all-undergraduate music program, I've had the opportunity to perform as principal clarinetist in both the Orchestra and Wind Symphony," Dipiazza said. "That's something an undergrad would rarely have the opportunity to do at a school with a graduate program. I also was able to participate in chamber music and clarinet ensemble. Those experiences combined with our wonderful music faculty have helped me hone my musical abilities into what they are today, and provided me with the skills necessary to enter The ICA's Young Artist Competition."
Most competitors selected to compete at these types of competitions are typically in graduate school or have already completed their graduate degree, said Dr. Melissa Koprowski, an assistant professor of music who teaches clarinet at UW-Eau Claire.
"It is a well-deserved honor for Sarah to have been selected to compete in such a prestigious competition, and I am thrilled for her to have the opportunity to travel to Madrid and represent UWEC," Koprowski said.
Koprowski credits Dipiazza's success to her talent and willingness to work hard.
"Sarah is an exemplary music student, taking advantage of the many wonderful ensembles and courses our UWEC music program has to offer," Koprowski said. "She can often be found in the practice rooms of the Haas Fine Arts Center as soon as it opens, putting in over four hours of diligent practice each day."