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Stillman Kelley and Thelma Byrum Piano Award

Entry Deadline: February 1st. Open to instrumentalists 18 years or younger who are, or who become, members of the National Federation of Music Clubs as Individual Junior members or through Active Junior Club affiliation in Wisconsin. Entrants prepare a 15-20 minute DVD video audition, performed by memory. Repertoire must include an American composer. Entrants apply at the State level first, where a Wisconsin winner may be named who moves on to national judging. National and Regional prizes are available up to $1000.

For more information, official rules, and the application see the NFMC website here.

2017 NFMC Thelma Byrum Piano Competition

Congratulations to Monica Bertucci who has received the National Federation of Music Clubs 2017 Thelma Byrum Piano Competition award. This announcement was recently made by the WFMC Chairman for this award, Sue Beranek.

The WFMC says ‘congratulations’ and best wishes as you continue your piano studies, Monica!

2017 Stillman Kelley Winner Announced 

Monica Bertucci has been chosen as the 2017 winner of this award for the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs.  She is a senior at Hartford Union High School in Hartford. She recently won first place at the 2015 and 2016 State Festival Competitions in the solo and duet events. Monica won first place at the 2016 Milwaukee Area Piano Teachers Association solo competition. Monica recently became a published composer when her piece ‘Midwinter Snowfall’ was published domestically by The License Lab as well as 37 sub publishers internationally.

She is a student of Janet Acker. Her audition repertoire included:

Beethoven ‘Tempest’ Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Opus 31, no 2, III Allegretto

Barber ‘Excursions’ Opus 20, No 1

Brahms ‘Intermezzo in A Major’ Opus 118, No 2

2016 Stillman Kelley Winner Announced

Congratulations to Mary Bielinski, the 2016 Stillman Kelley Competition winner for Wisconsin. Mary is a junior, honor student at Brookfield Academy High School in Brookfield, WI. She has recently won first place at the 2014 Wisconsin Federation of Music State Festival, has won first place for three consecutive years in the Milwaukee Area Piano Teachers Association competition, and was a winner in the 2015 Chopin Youth Piano Competition at Milwaukee’s Polish Fest. She also plays the violin. Mary is active in numerous activities at her school, but she excels at athletics and is a member of the varsity tennis team. She also enjoys reading, cooking and traveling.

Mary is a student of Richard Saler of Wauwatosa. Her audition included the following repertoire:

  • Beethoven – Sonata Op. 57 (3rd Movement)
  • Rachmaninoff – Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 No. 5
  • Chopin –Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31


Ruth Kreuser Music Scholarship

The Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Ruth Kreuser Music Scholarship application is available to a qualified student. (see below)

The Kreuser Music Scholarship is a $500 award designed specifically for students between 12 to 18 years of age where circumstances finds them ineligible to apply for any other WFMC sponsored scholarships, grants, or monetary awards during the current school year.  This award is competitive and intended to go toward an accomplished student who desires to use the scholarship money to further his or her musical education.  Please note that students who receive monetary awards through Junior Composer Summer Programs are also eligible for the Kreuser Music Scholarship. This award cannot be received more than one time.

The WFMC announces that the 2018 Ruth Kreuser Music Scholarship is awarded to Emily Mettner, student of Haylee Lytle (Band Director in the Barron Area School District) and a member of the Barron Federated Music Club in Barron.  Emily is a Barron High School senior and has been accepted to UW-Eau Claire in order to pursue a degree in Music Education, emphasis in choral music.

Emily is active in music having studied voice, saxophone and piano. She is a WSMA Solo and Ensemble seven time state medalist as well as a honor choir and band member. Emily is a member of NHS and the Red Cedar Communiversity Choir as well as a volunteer in her school and community.

Pictured below is Emily and WFMC State President, Heidi.

Congratulations to Emily from the WFMC!

2017 Recipient, Michael Zelinski  Article

Apple For The Teacher

The $500 Apple for the Teacher project is designed to assist a kindergarten through 8th grade public, parochial, or private school music teacher purchase items for their school music classroom. Up to ten of these monetary awards may be given annually by the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs. A WFMC Senior Music Club member may nominate one teacher. An explanation of how the money is to be used to benefit the teacher’s students is required in the application. Winning teachers are eligible to reapply every other year. The application for the Apple for the Teacher Award is available below and is self-explanatory.

Apple for the Teacher Award Recipients 2018 

Darlene Bentz of Webster Elementary School in Green Bay

Nancy Bezak of St Joseph Catholic School in Wauwatosa

Michelle Bredael of Dickinson Elementary School in DePere

Heather Cheslock of Woodside Elementary School in Sussex

Carla Gannon of Robinwood Elementary School in Franklin

Kerry Garcia, St Peter Catholic School in Slinger

Kimberlie Hillmer of Horning Middle School in Waukesha

Amy Kutz of Hales Corners Lutheran School in Hales Corners

Julie Reuss of our Father’s Lutheran Church and School in Greenfield

Jessie Westlund of Northside Intermediate School in Milton

The WFMC wishes to congratulate these teachers and wish them well in their future endeavors in teaching!

updated 4/3/18


Heidi O Hong, WFMC President and 2017 ‘Apple for the Teacher’ recipient Marty Pederson, Barron


Sue Renkas, MacDowell FMC, Janesville and 2017 ‘Apple for the Teacher’ recipient Cynthia Riley, Janesville

Choosing Repertoire

Important Note: This article is intended as an introductory guide for selecting student literature for Federation Festival Entrants. It is not an exhaustive guide to Federation Festival rules, nor is it a replacement for the NFMC’s Federation Festival Bulletin, which is published tri-annually by NFMC.

Students participating in a solo event (e.g. Flute Solo, Violin Solo, etc.) must perform two pieces before a judge. While the rules vary from event to event, typically one piece is chosen from the list of required pieces published in the Federation Festival Bulletin, and one piece is chosen which is specifically does not appear on the list of required pieces. The piece selected from the repertoire list is referred to as a “Required Piece” while the non-list piece is referred to as a “Choice Piece.” One of the goals of the National Federation of Music Clubs is to promote American Music and American Composers, so almost all of the composers on the required repertoire list are American. In some cases, the choice piece must have been composed by a foreign-born composer. The complete rules governing the selection of choice pieces go beyond the scope of this web site. We encourage you to purchase a copy of the Federation Festivals bulletin from the NFMC headquarters for further information on the specific requirements for choice pieces for each event.

Each event has a number of different classes or levels of difficulty. The exact number and names of classes varies from event to event, but most solo events have fifteen or more classes. A typical list of classes might look like this:

To expedite the process of filling out applications and rating sheets for students, federation members often abbreviate these classes. For example, P1 is Primary 1 while E4 is Elementary IV.

The required piece the student chooses determines the class in which he or she will participate. Students who receive a Superior rating must advance at least one class the next time they participate at a Federation Festival. Students may never move to an easier class once they have participated in a Federation Festival at a given class. This is very important to note, because it has an important bearing on which class students should be entered when they are new to Federation Festivals. Teachers are therefore cautioned not to be overly ambitious when selecting repertoire for novice students in Federation Festival.

A complete list of required pieces along with their composers, publishers, and catalog numbers appear in the Festival Bulletin, available for a nominal fee by contacting the NFMC National Office at 317-638-4003. The required repertoire list changes every three years when a new Federation Festival Bulletin is issued. The Bulletin was last published in May of 2003 and will change again in May of 2007. In some events, every single piece will change, while others will see only minor changes with each new bulletin.

For most teachers, it is not feasible to purchase a copy of every piece on the required list. However, your better local music store will offer a wide selection of many of the pieces on the required list, and most stores allow teachers to view and play through music before purchasing it.

Next: Entry Forms

Adult Students

One of the best parts about Federation Festival is that you can enter your adult students. The rules which govern adult students are slightly different from those which govern junior participants, but generally speaking, the rules are a bit more relaxed (e.g. some events don’t require memorization). Be sure to consult your copy of the bulletin for more specific information about how the rules differ for adult entrants.

Rather than earning Gold Cups, Adult students earn Silver cups (pictured to the right at the bottom of the Gold Cup section.

Next: Ideas to get the Most from Festival Participation

Getting the Most

Ideas to get the Most from Festival Participation

Gold Cup Recipients

To encourage more students to participate in future Federation festivals, consider handing out participation certificates, consecutive festival cup certificates, and festival cups in an “award ceremony” following your spring or summer recital. Students and parents will love the recognition and public praise, and seeing those lovely  cups being handed out (and sitting en masse on top of your piano before the recital) does wonders to inspire the next crop of students to achieve!

Post pictures of Festival Cup recipients in your studio’s newsletter or on the bulletin board in your studio. Submit a picture of this year’s recipients to your local paper. Requiring all students participating in Federation Festival to participate in the theory/musicianship event means that you will have twice the number of festival cups to hand out in your awards ceremony, and double the opportunity to recognize your student’s musical excellence.

Holding studio classes or recitals using pieces for the Federation festival a couple of weeks before the actual festival can also greatly enhance your student’s festival experience. Allowing students to play for each other in a group setting where there is positive and constructive group critique following each student’s performance can provide a great incentive for the last minute practicers to have their pieces perfected before the day of Federation festival.

Next: Getting Additional Help

Why Should You Enroll Your Students?

With so many  contests and festivals vying for your student’s time, you might wonder what makes the WFMC Federation Festival so unique and worthwhile. First, the WFMC Federation Festivals fall at a good time in the school year. Festivals are typically held from the first weekend in February until Mid-March which means that the majority of students will be working on their pieces during December and January, which can be a difficult time to motivate students to work. Knowing that they have a deadline to face, students will be more apt to work diligently during the winter months.

The WFMC Federation Festival also offers students an opportunity to receive a critique from someone other than their teacher. Some students have heard the same message from us as teachers so many times that they have come to politely listen during lessons, but don’t take our advice to heart. Sometimes hearing this same advice from a judge is exactly what’s needed.

As students advance through the many levels of repertoire from the Federation’s Bulletin, they can see their progress in lessons. The Federation awards certificates and Cup Trophies to students who participate, which provides another source of public recognition of student’s musical accomplishments.

Next: Entering Students in the Federation Festival

President’s Message

It is with sincere gratitude that I say “thank you” for being a part of the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs. Thank you to members who volunteer  in leadership roles, and for Federation Festivals across our state that allow students who excel in music a chance to be recognized, appreciated, and advance in competitions. The Junior, Collegiate, and Senior Clubs, programs, and scholarships in the WFMC are sponsored and organized by local music club members. Because of the dedication of so many — students of all ages are able to enjoy the thrill of musical performance.

Each and every music student of any age is the reason WFMC members continue to be involved and diligent in their tasks, duties, and responsibilities to their local clubs and to the WFMC.

Thanks to teachers, parents, and students who devote many hours to practice, study, and personal musical development.

During National Music Week (May 6-13, 2018) we are reminded of the NFMC 2018 theme ‘Music…the Universal Language.’ The future of the WFMC is in the chain of generations that we see today – in our junior, collegiate, and adult members. We join together as strong links in a vital organization because we have decided that staying involved is the best way to insure that music remains a part of everyone’s life.

Questions on awards, programs or scholarships, new member inquires, or other concerns? For this information only contact me at

Heidi Olson Hong
WFMC State President

2017 News, WFMC and NCR

National Music Week 2017 is celebrated May 7-14.

The WFMC congratulates Siddharth Nadkarni on being a National Music Week Essay Winner in the NFMC from the State of Wisconsin. Siddharth’s winning essay is printed in the current edition of Junior Keynotes Magazine.  Mr. Sam Ecoff is Siddharth’s teacher.

Siddharth will be reading his winning essay at the WFMC State Festival Competition awards ceremony on May 13th. Again, congratulations on a job well done from the WFMC.

The Barron Federated Music Club celebrates National Music Week and has been doing so since the 50’s. As a member of this Senior Club I challenge all clubs in our state to find ways to commemorate this year’s theme: Music…An Adventure for Life.  We are reminded that music needs to be a part of everyone’s life journey! Heidi, WFMC President

Pictured is Karen Amundson, President of the Barron FMC with Mayor Dave Vruwink who is signing the Mayors Proclamation for National Music Week.

WFMC Letter of Call

The 2017 WFMC Convention has been postponed to the Fall of 2017.  It is with regret that I make this announcement but our officers, volunteers, and teachers need to be present at our WFMC State Festival Competition which is a week later. Thus, our state convention will be at a later date when a majority of members will be able to attend.  I hope to see you there!

Heidi O Hong, WFMC President

Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs, Convention 2017

‘Great Music on  Great Lake’  Registration — postponed to the fall of 2017

Please review the following sections for WFMC news:

  1. News of Note
  2. JCSP 2017 fact sheet, NCR Junior Composer Summer Programs
  3. Avivo 2017 TTI fact sheet, Teacher Training Institute
  4. North Central Region News