PHS grad Realejo places first among young artists in state MTNA Performance Competition


GLOCESTER – A Glocester native who has taken the music education he received at Ponaganset High School to the next level won first place this month in a statewide student music competition, advancing to the next division in the contest with hopes to compete at the national level.

Pianist Maddox Realejo of Glocester was named first in the Music Teachers National Association Performance Competition in the “Young Artist” category for Rhode Island.

It is not the first accolade for musician Realejo, a 2019 graduate from Ponaganset High School. In the 2017/2018 season, Realejo was winner of the annual Rhode Island Philharmonic 2017-2018 Concerto & Aria Competition, and performed the third movement of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major with the orchestra. He attended Longly School of Music at Bard College in Boston, Mass. after graduation.

Now a student of Spencer Myer and sophomore piano major, Realejo entered the young artist division in the competition, open to students age 19-26.

“The purpose of the Music Teachers National Association Performance competitions is to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence,” notes a write-up on the contest.

Teacher Myer is a,”sought after,” chamber musician and Steinway artist, who has been heard on stages throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia. He was a member of the piano faculty at Longy School of Music from 2016 to 2022, and is currently associate professor of piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 

Realejo was announced as winner of the state competition on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and has now advanced to the East Central division. If he’s successful in the division, he will compete in-person at the national finals during the annual MTNA National Conference in March, to be held in Reno, Nevada from March 25–29.

National piano competitors in the young artist division are eligible for prizes of up to $5,000. Division winners are set to be announced no later than the week of January 16.

Realejo performs locally at venues including The George on Washington in downtown Providence. His proud mother Heather Brown, posted news of the award this week on social media.

“Bravo to the school district as a whole and the incredible support and music education my son received at PHS,” Brown wrote.

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