Student Showcase

2024 WTMA Student Talent Show Recap

Ileana Lim Piano Performance WTMA Talent Show 2024
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Over 30 extraordinary students participated in this year’s highly anticipated 2024 Well-Trained Mind Academy Talent Show. Students went live on camera to introduce their talents to an audience of over 100 classmates, guardians, and instructors. Everything from painting to scooter tricks to ballet to piano was showcased.

Middle School Winners

First Place: Ileana Lim

The first place winner for the middle school competition was Ileana Lim, who played Norman Dello Joio’s “Suite for Piano: IV Moderate, Fast with Ferocity.” Ileana has been playing the piano since she was eight. She says, “My neighbor’s son used to play the piano, and we would overhear him playing basically every day. One day, my mom asked me ‘Do you want to play piano?’ It was just on a whim, and my eight year old self sort of went ‘Sure, why not?’” In addition to playing the piano, Ileana dabbles in surfing, ballet, German, and kung fu. She says, “I just really love learning new skills!” Congratulations, Ileana!

Ileana Lim’s Piano Performance

Runner-Up: Joséphine Borne

Coming in as the middle school runner up was Joséphine Borne. She performed small parts of three different pieces she’s been working on: 1) Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Sonata, 2) Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E Minor,” and 3) Chopin’s “Ocean” Étude. Joséphine has been playing the piano for 11 years and the violin for 6. She began her musical journey when her mom showed her how to play the piano at the age of 3. Soon after, she began asking to learn the violin. Currently Joséphine is studying at the Vanderbilt Blair School of Music. Joséphine says, “I plan to go to music school soon in hopes of making this my career. When I’m not practicing, one of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is crocheting. I generally like to make clothes, particularly sweaters, though I’ve made plenty of other types of projects.” Well done, Joséphine!

Joséphine Borne’s Musical Performance

High School Winners

First Place: Samuel Anés and Mira Balzano

For the high school participants we had two very different talents taking the top spots. Samuel Anés and Mira Balzano claimed the top prize with speedcubing tricks and talents. Samuel and Mira have both been speedcubing for about a year and a half. Of learning the talent, Samuel described his interest in the intricate skill this way: “I started speedcubing when my friend, who I am very competitive with, learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I felt I had to prove my superiority, so I learned to solve it too, and I haven’t stopped since. Mira already knew how to solve the Rubik’s cube long before she started speedcubing. After we met, she got more interested and started speedcubing too.” Samuel spends only part of the year in Florida, and Mira recently moved to the States from Switzerland, so they are not always able to practice together in person, which makes their winning performance even more impressive!

Samuel Anés and Mira Balzano Speed Cubing

Runner-Up: Caryss Fraser

The high school runner up was Caryss Fraser, who wrote, produced, and sang a song called “Lighthouse.” The piece was originally written and recorded within the span of a week as part of a Country Music Hall of Fame songwriting camp. Of her talent, Caryss recalled, “I first started participating in a musical theater company, and years later, my love of music caused me to take an interest in songwriting. Around age 13, I wrote my first song and haven’t stopped since! I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing opportunities, such as being able to record original songs in two Nashville studios. I am forever grateful for the wonderful people I’ve met on my journey who helped me learn what is possible when it comes to music.” Caryss’s interest in songwriting was sparked by a general love for music. Caryss noted “There are so many amazing sounds and stories to explore! Even though countless songs have been written over the years, somehow, humans never seem to run out of inspiration.” Finally, Caryss said the one thing she’d like people to know about her apart from her talent (that is still music related) is that she LOVES to listen to all genres. Her most recently-played playlists include jazz, post-hardcore punk, alternative rock, traditional lute music, ambient, J-pop, electro swing, and Gregorian Chant. Spoken like a true artist. Way to go, Caryss!

Caryss Fraser’s Performance

Thank You to All Participants!

The 2024 Well-Trained Mind Academy Talent Show was a wonderful event, showcasing the diverse talents of our students. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to all participants for sharing your talents with the WTMA community. We can’t wait to see what you will bring to the stage next year!

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