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Community School talent scholars to perform recital

February 6, 2015

Photo of a violin and bowSix talented young musicians – recipients of talent scholarships awarded by the NIU Community School of the Arts – will perform Saturday, Feb. 14, at the annual Honors Recital.

Performances begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the NIU Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public.

Auditions for these six coveted awards are held each January, when the young musicians play their pieces from memory before a team of three judges. Each winner receives $250. The Community School of the Arts has awarded 114 talent scholarships to young musicians in the community since 1996.

Ranging in age from 11 to 17, this year’s winners are from DeKalb, Sycamore, Rochelle and North Aurora. They will perform works by Vivaldi, Bohm, Kuffner, Popper, Kreisler and Saint-Saens.

At the elementary age level, Reilly Farrell (violin) is 11 and attends fifth-grade at St. Mary School in DeKalb. The son of Robb and Tammy Farrell studies violin with Laurie Rodriguez. Brooke Stumm (violin) is 11 and attends fifth-grade at Holy Cross Catholic School in Batavia. The daughter of Brian and Kristin Stumm studies violin with Ann Montzka-Smelser.

Photo of an acoustic guitarAt the junior age level, Annabelle Atkins (guitar) is 12 and in the seventh-grade at Sycamore Middle School.The daughter of Taylor and Zabrina Atkins studies guitar with Eric Schroeder. Benjamin Rodriguez (cello) is 14 and in the eighth-grade at Huntley Middle School. The son of Josh and Laurie Rodriguez studies cello with Linc Smelser.

At the senior level, Jessica Luo (violin) is 16 and a junior at Sycamore High School. The daughter of Wei Luo and Hongqin Chen studies violin with Montzka-Smelser. Chantel Davis (violin) is 17 and a junior at Davis Academy. The daughter of Paul and Nancy Davis studies violin with Montzka-Smelser.

The money for the awards comes from the community school’s scholarship fund. In addition to talent scholarships, the CSA also awards need scholarships. Since 1993, more than 750 scholarships have been awarded to area students to pursue their study of the arts with the community school.

The NIU Community School of the Arts offers lessons, classes and ensembles in music, art and theater. For more information, call (815) 753-1450.