• Suncoast Music Scholarships Competition Awards $22,000 to Eight High School Music Students

    (Left to right) Graeme Sugden (flute, Braden River High School), Ryan Schmidt (guitar, Manatee School for the Arts), Lee Dougherty Ross, Susan Hicks, Daphne Waggener (viola, Riverview High School), and Joshua Guaita (piano, home schooled). Photo by Rod Millington.

    Awards luncheon featured performances by senior scholarship winners.

    (SARASOTA, Fla., May 9, 2017) Suncoast Music Scholarships, a Sarasota Music Club and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota partnership, awarded $22,000 to eight talented young musicians from Sarasota and Manatee counties to be used for music education expenses.

    In this second annual competition, there were 15 schools and 12 music disciplines represented by the 40 students who submitted applications. Auditions were held on April 22 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. Distinguished judges for this year’s competition were: 12th grade – Joy McIntyre, Thomas Purviance and Gayle Williams; 10th and 11th grade – Katherine Oarr and Rich Ridenour.

    Two 10th grade students selected for Suncoast Music Scholarship awards of $1,000 each are: Andrea Guaita, violin, home schooled; and Daniel Solowey, clarinet, Pine View High School.

    The two 11th grade students selected to receive $2,000 scholarship awards are: Katherine Herbert, voice, Booker High School; and Michael Miller, clarinet, Lakewood Ranch High School.

    Judges for the 12th grade competition decided that second place should be awarded to two competitors. The four 12th grade students selected to receive scholarships are: 1st place, $5,000 – Graeme Sugden, flute, Braden River High School; 2nd place, $4,000 – Joshua Guaita, piano, home schooled; 2nd place, $4,000 – Ryan Schmidt, guitar, Manatee School for the Arts; and 3rd place, $3,000 – Daphne Waggener, viola, Riverview High School.

    The 12th grade award recipients performed at the Suncoast Music Scholarships Awards Luncheon, held at Michael’s on East in Sarasota on May 6.

    Both organizations in the partnership have long histories of supporting music education through scholarship programs. Sarasota Music Club has been promoting music education and performance since 1930. An annual competition held by Artist Series Concerts that rotates between voice, piano and string instruments, previously a statewide competition, was expanded to a national level last year. Over the past decade, that competition has awarded nearly $300,000 to 80 gifted musicians.

    SMS committee co-chair Lee Dougherty Ross, co-founder of Artist Series Concerts and director of the organization’s outreach and competitions, said, “This scholarship program helps support music education for our very talented competition winners, and it offers a valuable audition opportunity to many more students. Congratulations to the 2017 winners, and sincere thanks to our wonderful judges and terrific volunteers.”

    Sarasota Music Club board president Mary Webb said, “We are so grateful to be able to support music education through this partnership inspired by Lee Dougherty Ross and John Alan Fischer of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota.”

    The partnering organizations also offer music performance programs. Sarasota Music Club offers free, member- and donor-supported performances October through March. Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents world-class musical programs in a diverse range of genres, including classical, cabaret, pop, Broadway, orchestral and opera, from September through May.

    Along with Lee Dougherty Ross, the partnership committee was co-chaired by Susan Hicks. Also serving on the committee was John Alan Fischer, managing director of Artist Series Concerts. For more information, call Lee Dougherty Ross, 941.388.1188.

    Artist Series Concerts
    Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as Artist Series of Sarasota. The non-profit organization presents world-class musical experiences in a diverse range of genres, including classical, cabaret, pop, Broadway, orchestral and opera. A central focus of Artist Series Concerts’ mission is to spark a lifelong love of the musical arts by exposing young people to interactive music experiences. It accomplishes this through its performance-based outreach programs in area schools, creating unique learning opportunities for thousands of students and educators every year. In addition, Artist Series Concerts’ preeminent Sarasota National Music Scholarship Awards grants more than $20,000 annually to gifted, young musicians from around the country. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursued successful music careers. For more information visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org.

    Sarasota Music Club
    The Sarasota Music Club was founded in 1930 to promote music appreciation, study and performance. It offers free performances on the third Friday of the month, October through March. Sarasota Music Club is a member of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and is affiliated with the Florida Federation of Music Clubs and the National Federation of Music Clubs. For more information, visit www.sarasotamusicclub.org or call Susan Hicks, Communications Director, at 941.925.3602.