Hi-Desert Cultural Center awards $1,700 in Music Scholarships

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JOSHUA TREE, CA — The Hi-Desert Cultural Center held its 14th Annual Scholarship Concerts & Recitals program April 30 and awarded $1,700 in music scholarships to three outstanding students.  The popular educational program offers real-world performance experience to aspiring student musicians of all ages and gives each student professional constructive critique from a panel of highly-esteemed music adjudicators.  School-aged musicians also may compete for scholarships to help them further their music education.

From piano, violin and cello to electric guitar and more, 16 students participated in this year’s program: Oliver Cowgill, Haley Burrill, Kasey Carrillo, Dru Coiner, Vanessa Cantu, Miriam Lara-Vamstad, Pearl Burch, Celine Molina, Gary Burrill, Taylor Fourier, Lucas Borghese, Rick Hiestand, Patty Leary, Annikka Molina, Marcus Noil, and Beinn-Mhor Stewart.

The Scholarship Concerts program has awarded over $35,000 since its inception, and this year’s awards include a $1,000 First Place Award to Marcus Noil (29 Palms) for his piano performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# Minor, a $500 Second Place Award to Beinn-Mhor Stewart (29 Palms) for his vocal performance of You Raise Me Up as made popular by Josh Groban, and a $200 Third Place Award to Annikka Molina (Joshua Tree) for her vocal and guitar performance of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love.

This year’s Finals Adjudicators included Dr. Jason Powell (Ed.D. University of Redlands, M.Mus. Boston University, Joshua Tree Philharmonic), Bonnie Schwartz (Concertmaster Harvard Chamber Music, Concertmaster Joshua Tree Philharmonic), Dr. Steve Caron (Doctorate Musical Arts, USC, Joshua Tree Philharmonic, Hi-Desert Arts Academy educator), Jesse Henry (professional musician and band leader), and Richard Bishop (M.Mus. Julliard, and Julliard Pre College instructor).

This year’s competition Screening Adjudicators included Darrell Shade, Steve Lusk, and Kristina Brook, and the Semi-Finals Adjudicators included Karen Graley, Ed Boulware, and Mary Kelly.  This year’s program was organized by Cultural Center volunteer Kathleen Radnich.

Music scholarships are provided from generous contributions from local patrons and from Joshua Tree Philharmonic concert proceeds.  The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization that has been serving the Joshua Tree National Park gateway communities for over half a century.  For more information, visit www.hidesertculturalcenter.org or send an email to info@hidesertculturalcenter.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: (CENTER from Left) Marcus Noil (1st Place $1,000), Annikka Molina (3rd Place $200) and Beinn-Mhor Stewart (2nd Place $500) hold up their awards surrounded by other student musicians, teachers, and adjudicators as part of the Scholarship Concerts & Recitals program at Hi-Desert Cultural Center April 30, 2016.

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