The violinist that could


Photo provided by Chip Chandler

Havuka Lund, the violinist that could.

West Texas A&M University is home to many talented students who have won many national contests over the years. The School of Music continues the tradition with Havuka Lund, a senior music therapy major who recently qualified for the national finals of MTNA Young Artists Competition.

MTNA is the Music Teachers National Association, an organization that collaborates with music teachers across the nation and provides several opportunities for networking, growth and development or ongoing education. It is a nonprofit organization comprised of 17,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music making to society and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers.

“My professor told me to enter the competition. At first I was thinking, you know, it’s Covid and I have time,” Lund said.

Lund then began the three-tiered competition beginning at the state level, then moving forward into the division level and finally the national level. The competitions have not been in person, but done through many recordings sent in for entry.

“Prior to the pandemic, recordings were not really my strong suit. To some degree, they still aren’t, but the standstill of last year definitely gave me plenty of opportunities to improve that weakness and it’s great to see some of it pay off,” Lund said.

Lund further explained that the facilities at WTAMU made recording much easier for her than expected.

“The performing facilities in the Fine Arts Center and Mary Moody are wonderful spaces to play and record in, so I often made them my second home over the course of a few weeks,” Lund said.

After winning both the state and division levels, Lund describes her feelings as “cautiously optimistic”.

“I’m definitely excited, and a bit nervous at the same time. I’m blessed to have made it this far and I’m incredibly thankful to have a great support system in my colleagues and mentors. If I win, it’ll be a great experience and if I lose, it’ll still be a great experience,” Lund said.

All final recordings are due by Feb. 18, 2021. The results of the national contest will be released in March. The national winner of this competition receives a cash prize and will perform in a Winners Concert during the 2021 MTNA Virtual National Conference.

For more information about the MTNA National Competitions visit [email protected] or