MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PIANO SLAM 8, a grand Classical/Hip-Hop concert of poetry and pianos filled the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts last night and named four winners in the annual competition for writing poetry inspired by music for Miami-Dade County’s middle and high school students. The show presented 16 finalists in a Broadway-style live performance with internationally and locally acclaimed musicians, poets and dancers.
The competition winners are:
Middle School General Language: Chika Ojukwa
8th grade, 13 years old, Lawton Chiles Middle School
High School General Language: James Balo
10th grade, 16 years old, Design and Architecture Senior High
Middle School STEM: Christopher Badillo
8th grade, 13 years old, George Washington Carver Middle School
High School STEM: Katherine Nichols
12th grade, 18 years old, Miami Arts Charter School
“All 16 finalists captivated the audience with their riveting performances of the spoken word,” said Carlene Sawyer, director of Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation, the creator of PIANO SLAM. “The evening was inspiring and beautiful – it’s wonderful to give these kids an opportunity to express themselves.” Award-winning Dranoff classical pianists Maarten van Veen and Bobby Mitchell traveled from Holland and Germany to perform with the students.
The 16 student finalists, whose poems ranked tops among thousands of entries in this countywide poetry contest based on their love of music, performed under the direction of award-winning playwright and director, Teo Castellanos. Under Mr. Castellanos’ guidance, they were transformed into professionals during weeks of intensive performance coaching.
This annual final concert is the culmination of months-long PIANO SLAM curriculum for all Miami-Dade public middle and high school students. Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation, which is based in Miami and internationally renowned, brings its award-winning classical pianists into schools for concerts and students are invited to write poetry based on the inspiration of music. Every year, thousands of students submit poems into the competition. PIANO SLAM demonstrates the importance of arts and music education programs’ real connection in the classroom to help students learn. It is the largest arts program in Miami-Dade middle and high schools brought by an outside organization. The curriculum developed by Dranoff supports a student’s cognitive, social, and emotional development and shows the vital role the community plays in helping our schools, teachers and students.
To make donations or for more information about PIANO SLAM including photography and video for media, visit www.pianoslam.org.
ABOUT DRANOFF INTERNATIONAL 2 PIANO FOUNDATION
For 30 years, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation (Dranoff) has been the world’s leading organization to champion exclusively two piano repertoires and artistry. It is the only international foundation, accredited by the World Federation of International Music Competitions, to discover, promote, and award honors to top professional duo piano artists through its competition, commissions, and presentations of duo piano concerts. The Dranoff promotes awareness to a new generation of students of the transformational power of music and the arts through its multi-disciplinary, educational, and inspirational concert program, PIANO SLAM. The Dranoff is one of the few world-class performing arts organizations headquartered in Miami-Dade County, whose activities span the globe and create recognition abroad of the region’s positive image and commitment to the highest standards of creativity and the arts. Dranoff also promotes Miami as an international cultural destination. It exposes its home audiences to major international artists, thereby creating a cultural bridge to foster universal understanding and respect through music. For more information, visit www.dranoff2piano.org.