University of Mississippi

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If you would like to donate toward the future of this fun weekend in Oxford, we would love to have your support.  The World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest & Festival operates as a 501c3 non-profit organization and all of your contributions are tax deductible. Donations will go toward sustaining and increasing the prize money for attracting the highest quality contestants; fees for guest artists and judges; and keeping ticket prices at a reasonable rate.

If you wish to donate, checks should be made out to “University of Mississippi May Piano Contest.”

Send to:

Ian Hominick, Art. Dir.
Old-Time Piano Playing Contest
University of Mississippi Department of Music
PO Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848

Please contact Ian Hominick at (662) 915-1282 or by email at oldtimepianocontest@olemiss.edu if YOU would like to become a patron of the Old-Time Piano Contest.


The Contest is looking for volunteers from the Oxford-Lafayette community to become involved. If you would like to participate in the planning and design of the 2017 event, please contact Ian Hominick at (662) 915-1282 or by email at oldtimepianocontest@olemiss.edu

Get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Meet the Team

These are the people who keep your competition exciting, musical and fair.


Ted Lemen
Founder & Festival Emcee

Now in his 43rd year as contest emcee, Ted Lemen came from a family where music was paramount, including a father who sang in a barbershop quartet and chorus, a mom who played violin and aunts and uncles who comprised a family octet.   Years of clarinet lessons aside, it was an unused piano at home that got his attention, and he taught himself to play starting with just two fingers, singing along to hundreds of tunes from the 1890s through the Roaring 20s that he’d heard.  While attending Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington IL, he founded the Monticello Railway Museum in 1966, revealing his second passion, trains.  While still in school in 1967, he was hired by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor after playing piano for 57 hours and 31 minutes in a piano marathon sponsored by the local Wurlitzer dealer.  As publicity director for the railway museum in 1975, he started the piano contest as a fundraiser, and after just a couple of years, hundreds of spectators brought their own lawn chairs to sit outdoors and listen to piano players compete from the platform of an old railroad car while steam trains chugged past.  After welcoming more than 500 piano players from across the United States and other countries to the stage at several locations in Central Illinois, the contest wound up in Oxford MS in 2016, and Ted continues to be part of a dedicated group that promotes piano performance of Ragtime, honky-tonk and standard tunes for fame, trophies and cash prizes.


Ian Hominick
Artistic Director & Local Coordinator

A native of Nova Scotia, Ian Hominick attended graduate school in the U.S., receiving his doctorate in Piano Performance from Ohio State University. He served as assistant to the legendary American pianist Earl Wild who played for five presidents, gave the very first televised piano concert and served as the music arranger for Sid Caesar’s “Show of Shows” in Hollywood. Mr. Hominick also served as assistant to Tchaikovsky Competition silver-medalist André Laplante. The Toronto Star has described his playing as exhibiting “flawless technique and high style.”  An active soloist, adjudicator and teacher, he has maintained a busy schedule of concerts and master classes across the United States, Canada and in Europe. 

He has three critically-acclaimed CD’s to date.  All Music Guide praises Hominick’s “… glowing pianism and a genuine desire to entertain.” Hominick currently teaches on the piano faculty at the University of Mississippi; is past president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association; Director of the Piano Discoveries Summer Camp; Artistic Director the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest & Festival and Assistant Chair of the Department of Music.


Faye Ballard
Contest Coordinator

Faye has been a part of the contest since 1977 when she first competed against the contest’s first champion, Joybelle Squibb at the age of 12.  She became interested in ragtime music after meeting Leslie Cripe, the pianist for the Harry James band at a Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Decatur, Illinois and her interest continues to this day. 

Faye has been a finalist in the Regular Division several times and took over as Contest Coordinator in 2010.  She enjoys working with all the contestants and though she has retired from competing, still continues to help spread the ragtime message by performing in venues like the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO and the Scott Joplin House in St. Louis, MO.

Board Members

Ted Lemen, President & Emcee
Bradley, IL
(815) 922-3827

Ian Hominick, Artistic Director; Treasurer & Site Coordinator
Oxford, MS
(662) 915-1282

Faye Ballard, Contest Coordinator
Champaign, IL

Charlie Miles, A/V Technical Dir.

Ryan Breeland, UM Dept. of Music PR
(662) 915-2036

Jeanne Lippincott, Webmaster
Oxford, MS

Bill Edwards, Artistic Co-ordinator & Historian
Ashburn, VA

Adam Swanson, Co-emcee
Shenandoah, IA

Barbara Flack, Judging Assistant
Palinfield, IL

Ellen Thomas, Merchandise Sales
Peoria, IL

Olivia Davis, Card Girl
Madison, MS

Wayne Andrews, Grants, Community Engagement
Oxford, MS

Diane Falkner, Community Engagement, Sales
Oxford, MS

Lara Davis, Off-campus venue Coord.
Oxford, MS

Bill DeJournett,
Oxford, MS

Ricky Burkhead,
Oxford, MS