Rachel Clark

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Rachel Clark of Lumberton, a harp student of Emily Mitchell in Stephen F. Austin State University's Music Preparatory Division, has won first place honors in two distinguished music competitions in recent weeks.

Clark, an 18-year-old homeschooled student who will graduate high school in May, won first place in the 2017 Symphony of Southeast Texas Concerto Competition in Beaumont, performing G.F. Handel's Concerto in B flat Major. This was an all-instrument competition where Clark competed against pianists, strings, winds and brass. As a result of this competition win, she will perform at the SOST Youth Education Concerts May 16 and 17 in Beaumont.

She also won first place in the high school division of the Milligan Harp Competition sponsored by the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Harp Society. She will receive a cash prize and will perform for the harp society on Sunday, May 7.

Clark, who is also an accomplished pianist, travels two-and-a-half hours each week to study harp with Mitchell. Her previous teacher was Charlotte Mizener, with whom she studied for five years in Beaumont.

"It is wonderful to teach a talented, dedicated student, who comes to lessons thoroughly prepared," Mitchell said. "To watch her efforts pay off has been a great reward. Rachel has not only won these two competitions within weeks of each other, but she received scholarship offers from all universities she auditioned for study next fall."

For information about the SFA School of Music's Preparatory Division and for a complete listing of classes and types of instruction available, contact director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291 or visit www.music.sfasu.edu/prep.