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Packa, a freshman majoring in piano performance from Cherry, Minn., earned first prize in the annual Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition for his performance of the first movement of Grieg's Piano Concerto.
As part of his prize, Packa will play with the DSSO in Virginia, Minn. and Two Harbors, Minn. in addition to receiving a scholarship prize from the William Hester Memorial fund.
"I'm really excited," Packa said, "but a little bit nervous because the DSSO is so high caliber. I don't want to disappoint."
He began learning the piano from his sister when he was three years old and currently studies under Dr. Beth Gilbert, professor of piano at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. "David is a very talented freshman piano major. This is a big honor for him to have won and to have two performances with the DSSO in concert."
Ever since Packa can remember, he's wanted to go into music, specifically piano performance. "It's what I'm good at," he said. "I've always had that in my mind. I like performing; I really do."
Although only a freshman, Packa understands what will be required for him to be successful.
"You have to be ready to work hard. You can't be lazy," he said. "You have to love what you do, because if we got paid for every hour we practiced, we'd be millionaires. But you don't, so you have to love what you do."
He also plays the viola, which has helped improve his piano playing. According to Packa, he pays more attention to the harmonies of the music while playing the piano, since the viola rarely plays the melody.
Packa will perform on March 12 at 7:30 in Virginia, Minn. and on March 15 at 7:30 in Two Harbors, Minn. with the DSSO. He will also perform with the UW-Superior Orchestra on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Thorpe Langley Auditorium in Old Main.
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