Ty Stephany, grandson of Roger and Mary Hoff of Milbank, started playing the piano when he was five years old. Now only 12 years old, he performs his first full solo recital on Saturday, May 20, at Adventure Life Church in Altoona, Iowa.
Ty has been studying under Dr. Paul Barnes, Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. Dr. Barnes accepted Ty into his studio as one of four pre-college students in May 2016.
According to grandmother Mary Hoff, Ty and his mother Melissa travel to Lincoln every other week. The trip usually takes three hours each way, and his lessons are two hours. “It’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication by both Ty and his parents, but this young boy has blossomed using his God-given talent. This is a thrill for us all,” said Mary Hoff. “ Even though it is a bit of a trek to Altoona, all are welcome to join us at his recital Saturday.”
Ty’s mom, Milbank High School alumna Melissa (Hoff) Stephany, obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern College and has taught piano for 19 years. She began giving lessons in Milbank when she was a sophomore at MHS. Ty begged his mother for lessons seven years ago and she started him on his way. Now, Ty will perform all of his pieces by memory during his recital. One piece is three movements and lasts about 20 minutes.
Ty has also competed in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair for crowds of over 2,000 people. He advanced to the semi-finals three times. He plans to participate in the Junior MTNA Competition in Omaha, Nebraska in October.