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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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UCM Alumnus Wins National Piano Competition

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 26, 2009) – UCM alumnus James Cockman recently earned national honors as he claimed first place in the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Young Artists Piano Competition in Orlando, FL.

Cockman, a resident of Pleasant Hill, is a postgraduate piano student of Richard Smith, professor of piano in the UCM Department of Music. Cockman received a Bachelor of Science in piano and organ performance from William Jewell College and a Master of Arts in piano with a minor in organ from UCM, where he began his study with Smith. Cockman also received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas.

Cockman is no stranger to the competition. This is the third time he has competed, and was one of only nine from across the country selected to compete this year in semifinal round of the Young Artists Piano category. Cockman was selected based upon an audition recording submitted to a judging panel. Of the 70 minutes of music presented for audition, he performed a 30-minute program of music selected by the judges. As winner of the national competition, Cockman will make concert appearances in a variety of venues during the next two years.

Earlier this year he also won the Music Teachers National Association District Young Artists Competition in Minnesota, where he represented Missouri in the seven-state competition. He then traveled to the national competition in Atlanta, where he claimed third place in the Young Artists Piano category.

In addition to competition and performance, Cockman currently teaches piano in private lessons. He also serves as minister of music at the Trinity Bible Church Ministries.