New Mexico Pianist Presley Gao Is A Division Finalist In MTNA Junior Piano Competition

Presley Gao, a Los Alamos native, is a Division Finalist in the MTNA Junior Piano Competition. Courtesy/MTNA

MTNA News:

Presley Gao, a Los Alamos native, will travel to Santa Barbara, Calif., in January to compete as a Division Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Junior Piano Competition.

Gao, the son of Jun Gao and Hongzhao Tian, earned this opportunity after winning the Junior Division of the MTNA Statewide Piano Competition. An 8th grader at Los Alamos Middle School, Gao has been studying piano for six years and is currently a student of Steinway Artist Jacquelyn Helin.

Awarded PMTNM’s Danfelser Scholarship in 2012, Gao also is the winner of many competitions: first place in District Honors for three consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012) and first place in the State Honors Level One (2010) and Level Two (2012). In 2013, he previously won the New Mexico MTNA Junior Piano Competition and also won the highest level of the Santa Fe Sonata Contest. He is currently an Epik Artist of Performance Santa Fe.

The MTNA Piano Divisional Competition will take place Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 during the MTNA Southwest Conference. The winner of this competition will compete in the National Finals during the MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., in March.

The three-tiered MTNA competitions begin at the state level. Winners of each State Competition advance to the division competition. Division winners then proceed to the National Competition Finals.

To receive more information about the MTNA National Competitions, including competition rules and applications please contact MTNA national headquarters at 888.512.5278, or visit the website at

Music Teachers National Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of 22,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music making to society and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers. Founded in 1876, Music Teachers National Association is the oldest professional music association in the United States.