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Local high school students win music camp scholarships

Five Polk County High School sophomores and juniors, and a home schooled senior won Cannon Music Camp scholarships of up to $300 each toward attending the prestigious music camp at Appalachian State University this summer. Qualified by their Cannon awards, each student won a second scholarship provided by the Laurel Lake Music Society at Tryon estates in Columbus. The society, composed of TE volunteer residents, sponsor a competition for area students each year, raising money through an in-house campaign to complement the Cannon awards with a prize of the entire balance of the camp tuition and food plan expenses for each Cannon qualified winner.

Students auditioned by recording their performances electronically and transmitted the links of their performances to the LLMS scholarship committee. The society submitted the videoed and recorded auditions to YouTube and sent the links to the university professionals serving as adjudicators, many of whom also serve as camp staff along with guest musicians. These Cannon judges ranked and qualified the contestants for camp attendance, awarding scholarships based on each performer’s choice(s) of music played, tonality, intonation, technique, musicality of production and range of difficulty, along with posture, stage presence and personal appearance.   

High School Band Director Cindy Gilbert assisted the PCHS students with their presentations, and Donis Schweizer (Tryon violin music teacher)  contributed to the violin students with their audition recordings.

Listed below are the names, ages, instruments and schools of the successful applicants:

Lillie Bell, 12, Violin Home Schooled

Calista Cline, 11, Flute,  PCHS

Kira Mayer, 10, Violin, PCHS

Jacob Grigg, 12, Trombone, PCHS

Tyler Twitty, 11, Trumpet, PCHS

Itzel Cruz, 11, Flute  PCHS

For 18 consecutive years, LLMS has funded deserving area student musicians’ attendance at the 3-week intensive individual and group musical training each June/July at ASU’s Cannon Music Camp. Including the 2019 awards, the total of funds provided has reached $190,000, making the camp experience possible for 136 area students. The society plans a recognition concert and reception for these talented and hard-working students in the near future in the new auditorium at Tryon Estates.

– Submitted by R. P. Cooke