PA Cyber
Portrait of William the pianist

Music Student Will Be ‘Bach’ for More Competitions

Portrait of William the pianist

March 28, 2023

Ninth-grader William played piano for the first time on stage at the Westmoreland Symphony's Young Artist Competition in February—and he won first place. “It was my first time performing on a stage,” he said. Soon after, he performed at a winners’ recital at Seton Hill University's Performing Arts Center in Greensburg. He played J.S. Bach’s Invention No. 9 for all to hear, which is his favorite piece because of the upbeat tune and chord structure.

Both shows were nerve-wracking for him. “It was a whole new experience for me. The entire drive to the finalist competition, I was a mess. For the recital, the entire time someone was performing ahead of me, I had to make myself breathe very slowly. Your heart races, and you can feel it, and you try your best to keep your breathing under control.”

The annual competition is open to young artists competing in instrumental and piano categories who live in Westmoreland and Fayette counties. William competed in the Level I category, which goes up to grade 9. Next year he is planning to compete in Level II for grades 10–12.

William has studied piano and violin for over seven years. “I sit down and play every day,” he said. He enjoys playing both instruments for the congregation at his church. His non-musical interests include competing in taekwondo and spending time with his horse, Jerry.

He has been a PA Cyber student since kindergarten. “The staff is amazing,” he said. “There are fun field trips. We normally go to the Carnegie Science Center and the National Aviary every year. Then you have the ArtReach classes. Even though it’s a cyber school, you still get that interaction. You can still make friends.”

William has two younger sisters who have also been in PA Cyber since kindergarten. “We’re a PA Cyber family,” he said.

He doesn’t shy away from competitions of all genres. He has teamed up with three PA Cyber students in the Governor’s STEM Competition, for which they developed a device that emits a tone to keep deer off the road. Over 60 teams entered the competition, and PA Cyber’s team is one of 20 to advance to the state finals, which will take place in Harrisburg on April 19.

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instruction methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly qualified teachers and rich academic content that is aligned with state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.