Marvin O. Mechelke II Piano Award

The Mechelke Scholarship Competition is open to graduate piano students in even-numbered years, and undergraduate piano majors in odd-numbered years. 


The 2023 competition will be open to any talented full-time undergraduate piano majors in the School of Music. All applicants must be in accordance with the University of Minnesota’s policies for full-time enrollment, be in good academic standing, and have a GPA of at least 3.0. Up to 6 students will be admitted to compete in the competition. 


Competitors must choose a program consisting of at least two contrasting works with a total playing time of up to 12 minutes. A second piano will be available for duo or concerto repertoire. Selections should be complete works or movements, not excerpts. Cuts are not allowed, but repeats may be omitted. Competitors should be prepared to make brief introductory remarks about their repertoire in the final round.

Winner’s Encore

After the final round judges have announced their decision, the winner shall perform, as an encore program, one or more additional selections totaling up to 10 minutes in length, again with brief introductory remarks about the music.


The winner will receive a scholarship prize of $1,500, to be used as needed to further his/her musical education at the University of Minnesota. At the discretion of the judges and with approval of the Mechelkes, an additional scholarship prize of $500 may be awarded to a second-place winner. (Second-place winners may compete a second time, but those who have won two second-place prizes are no longer eligible to compete.)


The panel of judges for the preliminary and final rounds shall each consist of three individuals selected by the School of Music: an active School of Music faculty member not from the keyboard division, and two persons chosen from the local music community. The decision of the judges is final.