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On March 18, TrueNorth Community Services held our annual Music Scholarship Contest, and gave away $1,300 in monetary awards to ten local middle and high school students. The scholarships are designed to help further students’ musical education. To that end, winning students may use their awards to pay for private instruction; purchase or repair instruments; or attend summer music camps. All students in the 8th – 11th grades who attend school in Newaygo County (including home-schooled students) may be eligible to compete, although students may only win two scholarships, of any amount, in their school careers. 

This year’s first place winner, receiving a $250 scholarship was Cassie Luchies, a 9th grade home-schooled student who played the piano. The second place award of a $200 scholarship went to 10th grade Fremont High School (FHS) student, Shannon Gibberson who played the double bass. Third place, a $150 scholarship, went to 10th grade pianist Kara Kortge from FHS. Each of the following students received $100 scholarships – Piano students Olivia Anderson, an 8th grader from Grant Middle School; Cole Hudson, an 8th grader from Fremont Christian Middle School (FCMS); Holly Kortge, 8th grader from Fremont Middle School; James O’Banion, 9th grader from FHS; and Jonathan VanderWall, a home-schooled 9th grader; and flautist, Adrianna Musa, a 10th grader from Newaygo High School, and Annaliese Patenge, an 8th grade vocalist from FCMS.

This year’s guest adjudicators were; Susan Tindall, a Master iano Teacher from Muskegon, and Ed Mallet, a Music Educator and creator of a musical performance group called Tuba Bach, from Big Rapids. Both adjudicators told TrueNorth Cultural Enrichment Program Coordinator, Brenda Huckins-Bonter they were impressed by the level of musicianship in our Newaygo County students. Each student received a copy of each judge’s score sheet with handwritten notes, and most received direct verbal feedback after their performances. 

Said Huckins-Bonter; “As coordinator of the program I would like to encourage more students to enter this contest, as it is a wonderful opportunity for them to be evaluated by someone other than their home teacher and experience auditioning, as well as winning money to use toward music camp, private lessons, or instrument purchase.”

For more information on the Music Scholarship Contest or any other TrueNorth Cultural Enrichment Programs, please contact Brenda at 652 – 1184 or

The 2014 TrueNorth Music Scholarship Winners; (back row, L – R);  C. Luchies, S. Giberson, C. Hudson, A. Musa, and H. Kortge; and (front row, L – R) A. Patenge, O. Anderson, K. Kortge, J. O'Banion, and J. VanderWall.

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