Eight Carson City students are preparing for the Northern Nevada Youth Piano Festival this weekend at the University of Nevada, Reno.
"I have never had a group of students prepare this diligently and play so technically," said their teacher, Shirley Bierman.
The festival allows each student to perform before a panel of three judges who rate the overall quality of the performance. The young pianists prepare two pieces from a repertoire list and must also pass a theory test.
Jillian Malkiewich, 10, attended the festival last year and is looking forward to participating again.
"It feels good to be able to share your pieces," Malkiewich said.
She said she also received helpful criticism.
"They pointed out that I needed a few more crescendos," she said.
Anna Macquarie, 10, said she hopes the festival will give her more experience and self-confidence.
"I'll learn how to play piano in front of an audience without getting so scared," she said.
Bierman said the students have practiced hard and will be prepared for their performances.
"They've worked hard and it's been easy to prepare them," she said. "They've all done their own work."
Savannah Sommers, 11, said she practices every day for about two hours.
"It made me practice more because I want to do well for the festival," Sommers said.
It is also an opportunity to be exposed to other young pianists.
"I want to listen to other kids play," said 13-year-old Charlie Macquarie.
Despite their reasons for going, Bierman said she is sure that all of them will do well.
"They're all very well-prepared," Bierman said. "They will do very well in the festival."
Students participating are: Caroline Suh, Blake Moreland, Maiya Gessling, Charlie Macquarie, Savannah Sommers, Jillian Malkiewich, Anna Macquarie and Christian Herbig.