Hidden Gems: Pianist Grace Stampfel
Hidden Gems First Edition: Scouting the talents of QV’s most extraordinary students
By: Rebecca Graham
Many who claim to play piano have a repertoire exclusively of “chopsticks” and “heart and soul.” Sophomore Mary Grace Stampfel, who has practiced on a grand piano since she was five years old, has a much more extensive resume.
“I play mostly new-age composers- Robin Spielberg, Stanton Lanier, [and some] classical stuff,” says Stampfel. “I also learned the song ‘Spooky Scary Skeletons’ on the piano and it’s really fun to play.”
While the songs themselves are entertaining, Stampfel really enjoys the artistic aspect of playing. “I can express the way I am feeling depending on my mood using different techniques,” she says. “Everytime I play is different.”
And an artist she is! Her talent has led her to special opportunities such as playing in the pit for the High School Drama Club play Clue. “For Clue last year, I had to do a lot of following because people would miss lines or miss scenes and I had to improvise.” She also played at a concert at the St. James Church in Sewickley.
Stampfel has her parents and piano teacher, Mrs. Valenzi, to thank for these opportunities. “Mrs. Valenzi has always been relaxed about what I play, and she let me decide what I want to play, and never forced me to play anything that I really hate.”
Stampfel hopes to continue to play music in the future. “I’d like to minor in music in college, but not go into it as a profession because I like having it as a refuge from stress. [I will] probably go into architecture or some kind of engineering. I also might play at formal parties or gigs in the future.”
If you know any other QVHS students with cool talents like Grace, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be featured in our next edition!