Skip to content

Women and Girls: An international winner

Evelyn Davenport's passion for piano has earned her a win in the 2021 Crescendo Music Competition.
Evelyn Davenport(2)
Evelyn Davenport performed at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve in 2017 as part of the American Protege Competition (provided)

Evelyn Davenport, born in London Ontario, moved to Thunder Bay with her family when she was eight years old and a few years later her faint interest in piano became a love for the instrument.

“I think I started when I was five, and it was off and on because I moved a lot. And then I seriously started to pick it up when I was 10,” said Davenport.

Out of high school, Davenport wanted to attend law school and because an undergraduate degree in any field is required to attend, she decided to major in piano performance at Lakehead University.

“And so I did a pretty rigorous version of high school that didn’t allow me to practice as much as I wanted to, so this was my opportunity to really delve into my music,” Davenport said.

Davenport, having won second place in the Crescendo Music Competition twice before, decided to once again enter the competition.

“So this was my third or fourth time competing in Crescendo, I hadn’t done it in a while, and so in December I decided along with my piano teacher to submit an audition video and I had that completed in the beginning of November,” said Davenport.

“So I recorded it at my house and I played a piece by Brahms, it was his third Ballade in G minor and so this was a piece that I had been working on since September.”

Davenport overcame great odds to compete in the 2021 Crescendo Music Competition.

From September 2020 to June 2021, Davenport dealt with a serious overuse injury in her back and left shoulder, requiring months of physical therapy. This injury prevented her from practicing long hours at the piano and learning physically demanding pieces.

“Brahms' Ballade was one of the first new pieces I learned since recovering from my injury,” Davenport said.

“Rediscovering my physical and musical independence has been a lengthy and difficult process, so I feel incredibly blessed to have performed this piece to the best of my abilities.”

And Davenport’s hard work paid off as she placed first in the piano division alongside her fellow Lakehead student Jessica Hayes who won in the vocal division.

Davenport, due to a concern about a family member who worked with immunocompromised and vulnerable people, Davenport elected to submit a virtual performance for the winner’s recital which was held at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Davenport’s peer, Hayes will be studying music in Italy this summer as a part of the prize of the competition, but Davenport already had plans to attend a similar program in the same area of Italy.

Davenport now plans to get her artist certificate, a one-year intense program so that she can go on to try to earn a master's degree in piano.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks