Participant Biographies

David Ginther

David is 22 years old.  He was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and has lived in Midland, Michigan for 21 years. David started playing piano at 10 years of age. He has had a lesson every week, including summers, with Barbara DuRussell of Midland, Michigan.  David participates in studio performance classes in Mrs. DuRussell’s studio and will be part of Midland MTA's Keyboardfest for his third year this coming January. David enjoys tennis, and rides  his  bike up to 100 miles a day.  He is also an avid cross country skier and runner.

Alexander McCullough

Alexander McCullough is a fourth year piano student of Dr. Anne McLean at the McLean piano studio in Naples Florida. At age 12 he has become an avid disability rights activist and up and coming pianist. His understanding and desire to help others, combined with his passion and love for music takes him through his daily journeys. Alexander enjoys performances at the Naples Philharmonic center for the Arts throughout the year and looks forward to his own piano recitals to please an audience with a Beethoven Sonata. As his music career moves forward Alexander would like to compose and record, so he can express his feelings through music to share with others.

Anna Schuck

Anna is 23.  She has been playing piano since she was 12.  Anna's other interests are collecting Schleich elves, telling and writing stories, and composing music.  An interesting thing about Anna is that she has synesthesia, experiencing music through color.

Kalil Olsen

Kalil Olsen is a 16 year old high school student from East Lansing, MI, right in MSU’s backyard. He spends his time participating in various clubs and activities, such as Chess Club, Mid Michigan Youth Symphony (MMYS), East Lansing High School Marching Band, piano lessons with Professor Derek Polischuk, and he also plays Competitive Call of Duty on the weekends. Having started his own computer building business for the first time, while in middle school, he enjoys working with computers, and has been accepted into a Cyber Security program for the fall 2016 that will earn him a college degree while also attending high school. Kalil was recently awarded the position of one of three new Drum Majors of the ELHS Marching Band. He has played piano for 12 years, and has taken private lessons on and off for about 10 years. Kalil also plays the French Horn and Mellophone in the Marching Band. In addition, during the 2015-2016 school year, after just a few weeks of practicing on his own, he got solo chair for trumpet in one of the two ELHS Jazz Bands. Music is important in his life, and he plans on attending MSU after he graduates from ELHS in 2018. Kalil plans on playing the piano for years to come, as well as the many other instruments he plays.

Joey Tan

Joey was born in 2001 in Singapore. In 2004, she attended a preschool with the University of Kansas which provided her access to early intervention programs to aid her education as an Aspie. She is now a freshman in a Kansas virtual school. She began piano lessons when she was 5. Since 2011, Joey started studying piano under Carol Cook. Under Mrs. Cook’s tutelage, Joey has studied a great variety of piano music. Her favorites are Moonlight Sonata Movement 1 by Beethoven and Nocturne Op 72 No 1 by Chopin. All these years, she has been enjoying doing solo piano music and in spring 2016, she embarked on her first duet piece, Slavonic Dance Op 72 No. 2 by Antonin Dvorak, with another teenage pianist, Luther Fuller. It has been a very educational experience for Joey. Besides playing piano, she also enjoys reading, writing and listening to her favorite bands.