Foothills Music Club Scholarship Awards for 2023 announced

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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FOOTHILLS–The Foothills Music Club is pleased to announce its 2023 scholarship winners following auditions held on March 3.  


Several young musicians from area schools and home schools presented an impressive variety of instrumental solos to the judges. These performances were marked by a high degree of accomplishment resulting in ties for three awards.

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Tied for the Lesley Oakes Scholarship were Laura Packer, Ella Tokar, and Eli Aldrich.

Laura, a marimba player, is a senior at Polk County High School and plays in the PCHS band under the direction of Cindy Gilbert. Ella and Eli are both in ninth grade, home-schooled, and study piano with Dr. Elizabeth Child.


Tied for the Betty Van Buskirk Scholarship were Matthew McFarland, classical guitarist, and Art DeCotiis, pianist. Matthew is an eleventh-grade student at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy and studies with Amy Brucksch. Art, who has been an FMC scholarship recipient in the past, has been home-schooled and plans to enter college in the fall.


The Kathleen Erwin Scholarship was awarded to Yohnah Ray and Kristopher Brooks. Yohnah is in ninth grade at Landrum High School and plays violin with the Landrum High School Orchestra under the direction of Paul Hendricks. Kristopher is a junior who plays bass

clarinet in the Polk County High School Band.


Receiving an Award of Recognition was Jack DeCotiis, a ninth-grade, home-schooled student who studies violin with Donis Schweizer.


Each year since 1994, the Foothills Music Club has awarded scholarships to qualified young musicians in the area to encourage them to continue their musical studies. Funds for scholarships are provided by members of the community and FMC. More than $63,500 has been awarded to date.


Submitted by Jeanette Comer