Judges receive hundreds of entries on CD. From there, 70 competitors are chosen to perform before the judges in person, and it's there that Hilary and Tiffany found their way to the top.
Hilary and Tiffany went on to compete in the National Federation of Music Clubs Ellis Duo Piano Competition, performing a two-hour program, including two full concertos.
According to the BYU news office: "On arrival, the duo quickly realized they were up against professionals with doctoral degrees. No matter, the BYU pianists went on to win that competition as well."
They will perform their winning piece, Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations, at the BYU commencement exercises in the Marriott Center on April 25.
"All my life I've been a solo pianist," Hilary said in a press release. "This has been a whole new experience working with Tiffany. It's totally different than working on your own."
After graduation, both will continue to perform together. According to BYU, "Winning the Ellis duo competition means, along with capturing the notoriety of winning such a big event, the national federation will arrange concerts for them for the next two years. Although both will be spread out geographically after graduating, they're excited to make performing together in the future work."
"Lots of hard work," Tiffany added in the release, "but I wouldn't have it any other way."