LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Fifteen Lafayette-area string musicians, including four who are home-schooled, are winners of this year’s McPherson String Scholarships to advance their musical training, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday (April 28).
The 2009 McPherson Scholarship recipients are Daniel Choi, Agustina de la Fuente, Joseph Frank, Mark Timmerman, Amy He and Bryce Wang of West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School; Kaleb Emery, Adrian Escobar, LeAnn Hackerd, and Dillon Miller of Frankfort Middle School; Kayla Newcomb of Central Catholic Jr./Sr. High in Lafayette; and Nathan Davis, Christina Doerr, Clara Loisch and Gabriella Loisch, who are home-schooled.
Winners receive $300 each through the Dr. and Mrs. Richard C. McPherson String Instrument Scholarship Fund. This year, 54 scholarship applications were submitted. The Greater Lafayette Community Foundation distributes the annual scholarships on behalf of the Lafayette Symphony.
Ken Bootsma, executive director of the LSO, said the McPherson scholarships are designed to encourage interest in string instruments such as the violin, viola, bass or cello among the many young musicians in local and regional communities.
“The $300 individual awards, made possible for the 12th straight year through the generosity of the McPherson family, can be extremely helpful, especially during these tough economic times, for private lessons or music camps to foster a love for music for all ages,” Bootsma said.
Musicians who were nominated by local and area music instructors were asked to submit an application along with a 100- to 300-word essay about how the scholarship would help them advance their musical interests. An ad hoc committee of three LSO musicians recommended the 15 recipients to the LSO’s Education Committee for final approval.
“The McPherson scholarship program pays particular attention to those students whose interest in string playing proficiency is limited by financial constraints,” said LSO musical director Nicholas Palmer. “It also is a key part of the LSO’s outreach mission into our local and regional communities and to help these young musicians and their families grow their love of performance.”
The program was created in 1998 by the McPhersons in honor of their children, Gregg A. McPherson and Kimberly McPherson, to encourage and stimulate interest in string-playing proficiency.
Applicants for yearly scholarships must be enrolled in school in grades 7-12, which includes the summer following the 12th grade. They must be permanent residents of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Warren and White counties.
The deadline for the 2010 McPherson scholarships is mid-February. Application forms can be picked up at the LSO offices on the second floor of the Long Center for Performing Arts, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette, IN, 47901. Prior scholarship applicants are eligible to reapply, and recipients from the last three years are not eligible to reapply.
Launched in 1950 as a nonprofit organization, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra is focused on enriching the cultural life of the Lafayette-West Lafayette community, which includes Purdue University, and 14 surrounding counties through excellence in orchestral music and educational experience.
About 80 percent of the Lafayette Symphony’s patrons live in Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County, while the remainder resides in the surrounding counties of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Pulaski, Tipton, Warren and White.