The College of Arts and Architecture

Spring Scholarship Competition Winners Announced

school of music with trees in bloom

The Penn State School of Music's annual Spring Scholarship Competition was held February 9, 2016 in Esber Recital Hall. Seven students were awarded significant scholarships based on their performances, and one student received an award recognizing cumulative achievements and contributions to the school.


The Atherton Memorial Music Award was created to honor Helen Atherton Govier. It provides recognition to undergraduate music students in their second, third, or fourth years who are making a significant contribution to the musical life of the University.Kyle McKay

The winner of the 2016 Atherton Award is junior percussionist Kyle McKay. The son of Sarah and Daniel McKay, Kyle is a music education major from Drexel Hill, PA. His competition repertoire included “Ultimatum One” by Nebojša Jovan Živković and “Blackberries and Chamomile” by Nathan Daughtrey. He is a percussion student of Dan C. Armstrong

Kyle currently participates in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and Mallet Ensemble. He is one of the 2015-16 winners of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, and will be performing "Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble" by Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro on the ensemble's final concert in April 2016. After graduating in 2017, Kyle plans to pursue a master’s degree in percussion performance before obtaining a teaching job in an elementary school. He also intends to maintain an active performance career and teach privately. 

Kyle was also named the performance achievement winner of the 2016 College of Arts and Architecture's Reuben and Gladys Golumbic Scholarship Award. This scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated superior design, humanistic, and performance records, and who have proven their potential for significant contribution to the arts and humanities.


James NackleyThe Presser Scholarship was established to provide recognition for undergraduate students majoring in music. Consideration is given to full-time undergraduate students who have completed at least three years or its equivalent and have expressed and exhibited a personal dedication to a career in music.

The 2016 Presser Scholarship winner is James Nackley, a native of  Hollidaysburg, PA and the son of Daniel and Heather Nackley. A junior cellist in the music education degree program, he is a student of Kim Cook. James’ competition repertoire was the second movement of Antonín Dvořák’s cello concerto.

James was a winner of the 2015 Philharmonic Concerto Competition and a soloist in the 2015 School of Music Mosaic performance. He is a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Cello Choir, a string quartet, Penn State Glee Club, Campus Orchestra (playing violin and viola), and Campus Band (playing french horn). He also is a cellist with the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra (PCO), Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, and Altoona Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, James served as music director for Heathers the Musical with the No Refund Theatre (NRT) here at Penn State. He is a member of  Pi Kappa Lambda. After graduation, James intends to teach strings and orchestra, and to open a private cello studio. (Photo credit: Alexandra Bush)


The Eleanor Beene Scholarship Awards are given in honor of Eleanor Beene, 1915-1986, who held a degree in music from McMurry University, and who was a music teacher and church organist for nearly fifty years. Scholarships are presented in her memory to honor her love of music, and to recognize the outstanding pool ofeunice kang talent in the Penn State School of Music. Four students received 2016 Eleanor Beene scholarships.

Sophomore violinist Eunice Kang performed “Tzigane” by Maurice Ravel for the competition, A student of Max Zorin, she participates in Philharmonic Orchestra. She is pursuing a double major in musical arts and biology, and hopes to attend dental school after graduation. Eunice is the daugChristian Lopezhter of Dong Kang and Sun Yoon, and lives in Anchorage, AK.

From Piscataway, NJ, sophomore percussionist Christian Lopez is the son of Victor and Alexandra Lopez. A member of the percussion studio of Dan C. Armstrong, he played “Black Sphynx” by Leander Kaiser for the competition. Christian received Undergraduate Jury Recognition in fall 2015, and is a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and the Marching Blue Band.

Pianist William Preston is a junior in the studio of Timothy Shafer. He is the son of Richard and Amy Preston from Yardley, PA. Will serves as collaborative pianist for the Glee Club, and intends to pursue a graduate degree in collaborative and voice coaching. His competition repertoire wasWill Preston Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Etude Tableaux in D Minor” and “Un Sospiro” by Franz Liszt.

Freshman tenor Sean Toso hails from State College, PA and is the son of Dale and Blaire Toso. A member of Norman Spivey’s voice studio, he performed "Ombra mai fu" (from Serse) by George Friderich Handel, "Am Feierabend" (from Die Schöne Müllerin) by Franz Schubert, "Early in the Sean TosoMorning" by Ned Rorem, and "I'll sail upon the Dog-star" (from A Fool's Preferment) by Henry Purcell. Sean is a member of the Concert Choir and Glee Club, and intends to pursue an advanced degree in music upon graduation.

Sean was also named winner of the Margot Bos Vocal Award for 2016, which supports excellence in vocal performance. It is awarded to the outstanding vocal candidate in the spring scholarship competition and is endowed by the Margot Music Fund, created by the family and friends of singer Margot Bos (1962-2000).


The School of Music presented its award for outstanding performance to junior music education major Patrick Feher. A saxophonist, Patrick was Patrick Frehernamed as a winner of the 2015-16 Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition. He will perform "Concerto for Saxophone and Band" by Walter S. Hartley during an upcoming performance of the ensemble. He is a student of David B. Stambler and Dan Yoder, and has received jury honors for three semesters. He is a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Centre Dimensions Jazz Ensemble, the Penn State Saxophone Quartet, various jazz combos, and the Glee Club. Patrick served as an event coordinator for the Penn State Jazz Festival, and is the president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association's state executive board. Patrick is the son of Patty and Phil Feher of Jamison, PA.

Presented by the College of Arts and Architecture, the Awards for Creative Achievement recognize students who exemplify the objectives of the college with respect to enhancement of the arts. Consideration is given to students (preferably final year) who have proven themselves over an extended period of time.

The 2016 Creative Achievement Award winner for music is Sebastian Goodridge, who will receive a bachelor of arts degree in Music Sebastian GoodrichTechnology and a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Science in May 2016. A fifth-year senior, Sebastian is the son of Mickey Goodridge and Yvonne Leonguerrero, and lives in Manassas, VA.

His applied instructors at Penn State include percussionists Dan C. Armstrong, Marko Marcinko, and Giff Howarth, as well as composer Paul Barsom and music technology professor Mark Ballora. While a Penn State student, Sebastian has participated in concert bands and jazz bands, Chamber Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and Mallet Ensemble. He has served the College of Engineering as an undergraduate research intern and served the School of Music as a sound and recording engineer. Upon graduation, Sebastian plans to pursue a master’s degree in Engineering Science & Mechanics (from Penn State), to build his own recording studio, and to continue to play live music

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