Bryan Duerfeldt has been playing the recorder for at least 10 years. When he was in first grade he learned he would get the opportunity to play when he entered fourth grade. But he didn’t want to wait. Bryan’s parents saw his excitement and signed him up for lessons at the MacPhail Center for Music.
“We played Mary Had a Little Lamb,” said Bryan Duerfeldt.”I just kept doing it ever since.”
Today he plays early music from the 500s to pre-1800s, including Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Duerfeldt is a senior at Jefferson High School and is a finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts. If he is selected he will travel to the White House, perform at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and meet President Obama.
Earlier in the year he was 1 of 150 selected out of 5,000 applicants as a YoungArts Finalist and traveled to Miami, FL for a week of workshops and performances. YoungArts is a program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He met top youth artis
t in different disciplines from across country and shook Robert Redford’s hand. “I got to watch other people perform and learned so much from it,” said Duerfeldt. “They gave me motivation -they gave me energy to do my own art.”
In early April of 2012 Bryan Duerfeldt learned he was a Minnesota Varsity Showcase Winner. Minnesota Varsity is a high school-level classical music showcase for classical and musical theater performance students from Minnesota. Duerfeldt is one of five chosen and will perform at the Fitzgerald Theater on Sunday, April 29, at 4:00 p.m. with Aria Stiles, violin; Osip Nikiforov, piano; Sarah Tako, bassoon; and Simon Blaine-Sauer, piano.
At the Thursday Musical Student Scholarship Competition Bryan placed first in the winds division and received a scholarship sponsored by the Bloomington Noon Rotary Club. He performed at a free concert at Schneider Theater in Bloomington with the other Thursday Musical Student Scholarship Winners.
Bryan Duerfeldt is an Eagle Scout and plans to study mechanical engineering at an East Coast school where he can continue to play the recorder in an early music ensemble. His first choice is to attend Yale.
He learns in May if he is a Presidential Scholar of the Arts.