Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spotlight on John Pfingsten

For years, John Pfingsten and his sister Abigale have studied classical piano.
Siblings John and Abigale Pfingsten
performed for the residents at
Brighton Gardens in April.
They’ve competed strongly with both the National Federation of Music Clubs, and for the National Piano Guild auditions, performing traditional classical pieces.
But John Pfingsten departed from his usual classical repertoire in favor of a jazz piece for the Patel Conservatory’s recent Tampa’s Got Talent competition. And the judges responded.
John’s rendition of the St. Louis Blues won him a scholarship for the Patel Conservatory’s jazz ensemble.
“It’s the only jazz piece I’ve played,” said John, 11, of Lutz. “I’m very excited I got the scholarship, and to do this ensemble. I’ve never actually done something like this before.”
“We’re all excited, I’m blessed!” said Melo Pfingsten, John’s mother. “John picked the song he wanted to play at Tampa’s Got Talent...It’s the only one he hadn’t played for judging.”
At a recent National Piano Guild audition, John had to stick with the Guild’s guidelines, and the jazz piece, which he learned for a school performance, didn’t qualify. So he was eager to play it for Tampa’s Got Talent.
“He practiced for two months,” said Melo.
The Pfingstens have been with the Patel Conservatory for two years. John and Abigale take private piano lessons with instructor John Hernandez. Abigale also takes ballet and musical theater classes. She recently performed in PCYT's Seussical the Musical, Jr., and competed in Tampa's Got Talent. Their younger brother Samuel took Piano Lab over the summer and hopes to start private lessons soon.
John and Abigale performed in the National Federation of Music Clubs state convention in May, in which John was awarded his first Gold Cup for achieving superior scores for three consecutive years.

The family stays busy with their lessons, practice and competitions.
“They sacrifice a lot of play time with their friends, but hard work brings greater success,” said Melo. “They realize it’s worth it.”
“I really enjoy it,” said John. “I think the most fun part is when I get a new song. I like starting to get into it, and getting better and better.”