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Under the instruction of longtime music teacher Rebecca Battle of Pingree, Pocatello teen Austin Keller holds a first place title from the International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition at Incline Village, Nevada, last week.
Keller, 16, played two classic 10-minute pieces (Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite and the Fantaisie Hongroise by J.K. Mertz) from memory, claiming first in Division 1 Juniors (15-18 year olds). He took second place in the competition last year.
"This is a great accomplishment," said Battle, who has instructed Keller for the past eight years. "World-class guitarists come from all over the world to perform, teach and judge at this event."
Battle admits that when Keller was announced the winner, that she "just melted into the pew."
"The atmosphere is pressure-intense; I was so proud and it was just such a relief," she exclaimed. "It was a good competition."
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