Piano teachers Heather Baldwin and Dr. Michael Veech have seven good reasons to be proud.

On Saturday, May 11, seven students from the piano studio of Baldwin and Veech participated in the highly demanding Arizona Study Program (ASP) exam, administered at the ASU School of Music. All seven pianists received superior ratings, the highest rating available.

The seven students who participated, all residents of Fountain Hills, are Emma Baldwin, Sophie Boyce, Mischa Markovic, Reese Norton, Alexis Sommerschield, Denise Sommerschield and Lucy Watson.

ASP is a 12-year graded course of music study launched in 1958 by the Arizona State Music Teachers Association. Designed to motivate students to strive for growth and excellence, it requires continual work throughout the school year in the areas of performance, technique and theory. All seven students began the work to meet the requirements last summer; May 11 culminated their nearly year-long effort.

Students performed either three or four memorized pieces of music, each from a different musical period, as well as the required technique elements for their level in front of a master adjudicator. They then had to pass a grueling examination in music theory.

Teacher Heather Baldwin congratulated the students, calling them “outstanding young musicians.”