Dennis Alexander Piano Festival and Competition

Unfortunately, due to the sudden passing of our colleague, Dr. Ed Turley, we will be cancelling this year’s DAFC.  Please stay tuned for spring 2024 dates. 

Dennis AlexanderSince his affiliation with Alfred Music Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America’s most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years.

Upon moving to California, he taught privately, in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, NM where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Music Publishing Company.

The Dennis Alexander Piano Festival and Competition is an event designed to bring students together for a variety of activities to participate in and observe. It is held at Saint John’s University, Stephen B. Humphrey building. There are four activities for students to “opt-in” for participation. Students can elect to enter any or all.


Repertoire Workshop
  • Students bring any piece of music “as is” and receive practice tips, musical suggestions, and encouragement to assist in their continued study of music from CSB/SJU piano faculty.
  • “As is” really is what we mean! This workshop is about sharing ideas, exploring practicing and feeling motivated to keep learning.
  • Students will be in small groups during the workshop so everyone can learn from hearing other repertoire and musical suggestions.
Dennis Alexander Creative Workshop

Not to be missed! Mr. Alexander is an enthusiastic champion of the piano and music! Although the focus will be geared towards students, all ages will find his demonstration to be inspiring.

A major highlight of the event will be the creative workshop that Dennis will give. This session will be interactive and students will be encouraged to ask questions and to give input.

Mr. Alexander will be available throughout the day for photos.

Improvisation Workshop


  • Prize money awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for each level.
  • “Best performance of a piece by Dennis Alexander” awarded for each level.
  • Certificates and judges’ comments for each participant.
  • A piece of signed sheet music by Dennis Alexander for each participant.
  • Mini-recital of competition winners will take place in the SBH theater immediately following the winners announcement.
  • Competition Guidelines
  • Competition Repertoire Requirements
Funding for the festival and competition is made possible through the generous support of the Steve Noack Program in Popular Music and Jazz.

AlfredSchmitt Music

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Amy Grinsteiner
Chair, Music Department


SJU Music 106