The Penn State School of Music's annual Spring Scholarship Competition was held Monday, February 12, 2018. Nine students were awarded significant scholarships based on their performances.
The 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 2018 Presser Scholarship winner is junior pianist Maeve Berry. The daughter of Kevin Berry and Ruthane Reginella, Maeve is a performance major from Renfrew, PA. Her competition repertoire included the third movement of “Sonata in A-flat Major, HOB. XVI: 46” by Franz Joseph Haydn and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 32, No. 13.” She is a piano student of Christopher Guzman.
Maeve participates as a vocalist in Oriana Singers and Concert Choir and also serves both choirs as collaborative pianist. She received Jury Recognition in spring 2016 and fall 2017, and Jury Honors in fall 2016 and spring 2017. She was selected as a solo performer for the School of Music's 2016 Mosaic. She is the recipient of the William Forrest Chamber Music Endowment scholarship. In addition to her activity in the School of Music, Maeve serves as a family relations chair for the Oriana Singers/Glee Club organization benefiting THON and danced for 46 hours in the event held in February 2018.
Maeve was also named as the School of Music’s nominee for the 2018 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.
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.
This year’s Atherton Award recipient is saxophonist Thomas Snyder, a junior performance major studying with Penn state professor David B. Stambler. From Sinking Spring, PA, Thomas is the son of Kelly and Kevin Snyder. He is a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Saxophone Quartet at Penn State, and he also plays in the pit orchestra for “Singing Onstage” in State College. He achieved jury honors in fall 2016 and spring 2017, and was a finalist in the Philharmonic Orchestra’s concerto competition in 2016. This year, Thomas was also named one of the co-winners of the 2017-18 Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition. After graduation, he intends to pursue graduate study in saxophone performance.
Junior music education major Brooke Cichocki was named the 2018 winner of the Lynne D. Ferguson Memorial Award. New last year, this award honors outstanding achievement by an undergraduate music student majoring in piano or wind instrument performance. A clarinet student of Anthony J. Costa, Brooke performed “Hillandale Waltzes” by Victor Babin for the competition.
Brooke is a member of Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Clarinet Choir. She was previously a member of the Marching Blue Band. She received Jury Honors in each semester from fall 2015-fall 2017, and was a recipient of the Penn State School of Music Award for Outstanding Performance in 2017. In addition to her musical activities, Brooke is a Schreyer scholar, president of the National Association for Music Education Collegiate chapter, vice-executive chair for Encore Benefitting THON, webmaster for the Clarinet Club, and a small group coordinator for CHAARG. Brooke is the daughter of Tom and Gayle Cichocki of Zionsville, PA.
Two students received the School of Music Director’s Award, a new award created in late 2017 to honor the contributions of Dr. Sue Haug, former director of the School of Music.
Junior music education major Jordana Schaeffer is a flutist studying in the studio of Naomi Seidman. She performed “Concertino” by Cecile Chaminade as part of the competition. Jordana is from Bethlehem, PA and attended Freedom High School. She is a Schreyer Honors student. She was also recently named a winner of the Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition. In June 2018, she will travel to Texas A&M University-Commerce to participate as a finalist in the Texas Flute Symposium’s solo competition. In addition, she has been accepted to the ESL (English as a Second Language) Certificate and Immersion Program in Ecuador for summer 2018.
Violinist Celeste Belknap is a junior violin performance major, studying with James Lyon. She is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Russian. For the competition, she played the first movement of “Sonata for Violin Solo in D Major” by Sergei Prokofiev and “Chaconne” by Tomaso Vitali. From Clarks Summit, PA, Celeste is the daughter of Debbie and Bryant Belknap. She is the recipient of the Esber Memorial Award in Music as well as a School of Music general scholarship. Celeste is a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Virago String Quartet.
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 of talent in the Penn State School of Music. Two students received 2018 Eleanor Beene scholarships.
Senior violinist Eunice Kang performed the first movement of “Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47” by Jean Sibelius for the competition. A student of Max Zorin, she currently participates in Philharmonic Orchestra. Eunice is pursuing a double major in musical arts and biology, and hopes to attend dental school after graduation. She is the daughter of Dong Kang and Sun Yoon, and lives in Anchorage, AK. Eunice was the recipient of the Eleanor Beene Scholarship in 2016. She also receives the Ouwehand Family Trustee Scholarship and the Kittie Jordan Memorial Fund scholarship. Eunice received Jury Recognition in fall 2018.
Junior percussionist Gage P. Kroljic performed “A Cricket Sang and Set the Sun" by Blake Tyson and “In The Fire of Conflict" by Christos Hatzis for the competition. A student of Dan C. Armstrong and Gifford Howarth, he participates in Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Mallet Ensemble, and Campus Orchestra. Gage is pursuing a double major in music education and performance, and was the recipient of Jury Recognition in spring and fall 2016. He is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In addition to his Penn State activities, Gage also served as a mentor to the percussionists of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra and teaches privately. From Blackwood, NJ, he is the son of Jon and Vicki Kroljic.
Nick Nutter, a junior music education major studying saxophone with David B. Stambler, was named by the jazz faculty as the recipient of the Margot Music Fund Jazz Award. From Pittsburgh, PA, he has participated in various ensembles including Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Centre Dimensions Jazz Ensemble, Inner Dimensions Jazz Ensemble, A Great Deal More Jazz Combo, Sea Bass and the Flounders Jazz Combo, Total Darkness Saxophone Quartet, and the Penn State Saxophone Studio Ensemble. He is the current president of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, president of the Penn State Saxophone Alliance, and president of the Penn State Jazz Educators.
Nick is an active musician in the State College and Pittsburgh areas. He has performed with Zeropoint Big Band at the American Ale House and has performed at Zeno’s Pub. Additionally, Nick has performed in the pit orchestra for Penn State School of Theatre productions and Penn State Thespians. During summer 2017, he played in the pit as a member of the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth (Cape Cod), MA. Nick is the student coordinator of the 2018 Penn State Jazz Festival.
Junior Sean Toso was named winner of the Margot Bos Vocal Award for 2018. The award supports excellence in vocal performance, and is awarded to the outstanding vocal candidate in the spring scholarship competition. The award is endowed by the Margot Music Fund, created by the family and friends of singer Margot Bos (1962-2000).
A tenor, Sean hails from State College, PA and is the son of Dale and Blaire Toso. A member of Norman Spivey’s voice studio, Sean participates in Concert Choir, Essence of Joy, and Penn State Opera Theatre. He was the 2016 recipient of the School of Music's Eleanor Beene Award as well as the Margot Bos Vocal Award. He also was awarded second place in the inaugural Sing Out! voice scholarship competition held in February 2018. Sean plans to pursue an advanced degree in music upon graduation.
Although not a part of the performance competition awards, the following students were also recognized based on their resumes, grade point averages, faculty recommendations, and essays:Creative Achievement Awards
- Mike Klucker
- Christian Lopez
- Katie Rudnik
College of Arts & Architecture Alumni Society Scholarship for Music
- Ryan Czekaj