Scholarships awarded to Portland-area music students
PORTLAND — The Rossini Club of Portland has announced its 2010 music scholarship winners.
First place and winner of the $2,000 Rand Scholarship went to Portland resident Kallie Ciechomski, who will enter a master's program in viola at the Manhattan School of Music in New York this fall.
Second place and $1,200 went to tenor Matthew Slipp of Gorham, and third place and $800 went to soprano Maria Cook of Scarborough.
Ciechomski said she began playing viola when she was a student in the Portland Public Schools and continued her studies with members of the Portland String Quartet. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2006, and has performed at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and on RadioFrance. She graduated from Oberlin Conservatory this spring.
"I love that classical music is limitless," Ciechomski said, "both in the performing aspect and in how far you can excel."
She said she hopes to some day tour with a chamber ensemble, play as a member of a professional orchestra and pursue new music. Perhaps even teach, as well.
Cook grew up in Scarborough and said she began singing in her church choir when she was very young. She then went on to take private singing lessons beginning in second grade. She is currently studying voice at The Hartt School.
The Rossini Club also awarded two Wright Piano Scholarships. First prize and $1,000 went to Wilson Bristol of Freeport and second prize and $500 went to Sam Bagala of Gray.
Bristol said he began playing piano when he was 9.
"My aspiration is to perform as much as possible in as many places as possible," he said.
Bristol just completed his first year at the University of Southern Maine School of Music and performed with the Bangor Symphony, on MPBN, and played on the public radio show "From the Top," which highlights talented young musicians.
Bristol will attend the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival this summer for the fourth consecutive year.
To qualify for the scholarships, students had to be enrolled or be a music major full time in an accredited music school in the upcoming fall semester and be between the ages of 17 and 25. All the students performed approximately 15 minutes worth of music including two works from contrasting periods from memory before a panel of nine judges.
"The purpose of the club is to support young people as they become musicians," said scholarship Chairwoman Beth Harmon.
The amount and availability of the scholarships depends on the interest available from the endowments, which changes year to year.
"We've had some rocky times this past year," Harmon said.
Despite the challenges, Harmon said the club was glad to be able to provide these five young musicians with scholarships that would help them work toward a musical career.
Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org