RUSSELL – Sixteen year-old William Meisner of Russell received some exciting news this past week when he found out he will be receiving Conservatory Canada’s Medal of Excellence. Awarded to the piano student that achieves the highest exam mark in the Province of Ontario, William earned the recognition upon completing his Grade 5 piano exam (contemporary idioms).

What makes this even more of an accomplishment is that William did everything virtually. His weekly piano lessons are done via FaceTime with former Russell piano teacher Heather Koss-Huisman, who now lives in Kelowna, BC. 

His exam was conducted online via Zoom with an examiner in Ontario.

William, who has been playing piano since he was 7, began preparing for this exam in January. 

When his summer plans were cancelled due to COVID-19, he continued practicing and taking piano lessons throughout the summer. 

He completed all the requirements, which include repertoire, technique, improvisation, viva voce (facts and history), sight reading and ear training in August and he has already begun working on his Grade 6.

Due to the pandemic, Conservatory Canada is unable to hold their annual convocation ceremony in London, ON, so William will receive his award by mail in the coming weeks. Congratulations William!