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Islander students excel in musical composition

Hannah Zhao, a 7-year-old student at Lakeridge Elementary, and Sophia Chen, an 8-year-old student at Island Park Elementary, won the Regional Federation Composition contest, advancing to the national level.

Zhao’s composition, “Hopscotch,” won at the state and regional levels.

Chen won an award of merit nationally. Her piece, “The Halloween Party,” won the state, regional and the national levels for the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition.

Peyton Mitchell, an 8-year-old student at Lakeridge Elementary, won the Washington State PTA Reflections competition for music on the primary Level. His piece, “Exploring the Oregon Lava Tubes,” has also advanced to the national competition.

Christina Sun, a sophomore at Mercer Island High School, won an award of merit for the International Composition Contest sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers.

Sun’s piece for two violins and piano won first place in the district’s PTA Reflections Contest and second place in the state contest. She also won an award of merit in the National Piano Guild Competition. Her newest piece, a string quintet called “The Mysterious Castle,” premiered at Benaroya Hall May 10.

All four students study with Sharon Van Valin, a longtime teacher on Mercer Island.

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