Each year, the Department of Music at Southwestern gives away thousands of dollars in scholarship money to elite musicians. Music Festival Scholarships are awarded to talented juniors and seniors that are selected by Southwestern's music faculty. The faculty will select a number of students as scholarship finalists, which would include an invitation to perform at Southwestern's Showcase Concert on February 11, 2015 in Wharton Auditorium. The Department of Music will provide travel, food and lodging for all the scholarship finalists. In addition to the music scholarships and the performance at the Showcase Concert, all finalists have a chance to be selected to perform during Sunday evening's final concert at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. For more information please email Jonathan Wall, chairman Department of Music, at jwall@swau.edu. The application deadline is December 1, 2014.

Scholarship Audition Requirements

Scholarship Application

Congratulations to the 2015 Scholarship Finalists!

Hope Marchok, violin

Isabeau Wrasse, piano

Kenny Balinao, piano

Kyle Dellosa, violin

2014

Trent Muse, piano

Trent Muse has played the piano for most of his life. During his sophomore year of High School at Chisholm Trail Academy, his passion for music reignited when he was given the opportunity to be the pianist for choir. Then, in 2014, he decided to audition for the Meyerson Festival Scholarship, and became a finalist. Now, as a freshman music major, he plays piano for the Southwestern University Singers.

"This scholarship gave me the opportunity to come to Southwestern where I got the job playing for the University Singers. I also play for churches and worship services. I look forward to these experiences every day."

At this point, Muse is not sure what he plans to pursue as a career, but is confident that God will guide him. "I just want to share my love and passion for music with others, however God wants me to do that."

Jennifer Ramirez, contralto

Growing up, Jennifer Ramirez never believed that she could sing. In middle school a teacher convinced her to join choir, and from there her love of music grew. Now she is a 2014 Meyerson Scholarship Finalist and freshman at Southwestern.

"This scholarship allowed me to attend Southwestern where everyone has become family. Here, I can sing and show others who my Savior is through my music."

Ramirez auditioned for the scholarship during her senior year at Chisholm Trail Academy because she thought it would be a fun challenge. Other friends had gone before her, but Ramirez didn't expect to be a finalist. The opportunity enabled her to improve musically and better use her talents for God. She now sings in the Southwestern University Singers and often shares special music or sings in praise team.

Ramirez plans to be a lawyer so she can continue to use her voice for God.

"I want to be the voice for those when no one else will hear them."

Mitchell Won, organ

Dana Wilson, violin

Italo Opazo, viola

2013

Denielle Wilson, cello

Jonathan Penrod, trombone

Krystal George, soprano

Erika Martinez, flute

When Erika Martinez plays the flute, you can clearly see her passion for music. That passion drove her to audition and become a Meyerson Festival Scholarship Finalist, twice! She received the scholarship for flute in both 2012 and 2013. "Not too many high school students can say they performed at the Meyerson. And now to be on the other side, prepping for this event and helping the high school students prepare: it's a wonderful experience!"

Martinez attended Valley Grande Academy, where she played in the band, choir, and handbell choir. During 6th grade she began with piano lessons. After watching a band program, Martinez started asking her mom for flute lessons. Now, as a sophomore music major, she is a member of the Southwestern Symphony Orchestra, Southwestern Wind Symphony, and Southwestern University Singers.

Ultimately, Martinez wants to perform as the first flute for a major symphony orchestra. Her next step after graduation will be to enroll in grad school or at a conservatory and study under a major symphony orchestra flutist. "Someday I'll play at the Meyerson as a professional."

2012

Eliann Reinhardt, violin

Ivana Ticar, soprano

Ivana Ticar chose Southwestern Adventist University for her faith. After enrolling at a non-Adventist university, Ticar began to question if she was going the right direction. She auditioned for the Meyerson Festival Scholarship as a soloist and upon acceptance as a finalist, Ticar officially decided to attend Southwestern.

Ticar started voice lessons at just five years old and piano lessons in third grade. She enjoys singing with her younger sister, and performed for 3ABN. While attending academy at The Oaks (Adventist Christian School), she played piano for choir. Now she is a sophomore music major and plays in the Southwestern Wind Symphony and Southwestern Symphony Orchestra.

"Even though I had taken many years of voice lessons, I still didn't think I was a good enough singer," said Ticar. "Becoming a scholarship finalist boosted my confidence. It made a significant difference in my life."

Peter Choque, violin

In 2012, as a Chisholm Trail Academy senior, Peter Choque was a Music Festival Scholarship Finalist on the violin for the Meyerson Music Festival. Today he plays the violin at Southwestern, and is active with the Southwestern Symphony Orchestra as well as the string quartet.

"I participated in Southwestern's music festival for 7 years but being a finalist gave me new responsibilities as a mentor," says Choque. "I would be in a different place without this scholarship."

In his fifth-grade music class, Choque began to take violin lessons. The interest in violin continues into his college studies. Although Choque is a nursing major, he makes time for music as much as possible.

"I really like the music program at Southwestern because they seemed to care about everyone," says Choque. "It doesn't matter if you're not a music major."

When he thinks about his future, Choque is not sure what the exact plan is, but he trusts that God will make the path clear. "Originally, I wanted to be a doctor here in the states but I think God is calling me to be a missionary. I still don't know where, but the plan is to go wherever God leads me."

Erika Martinez, flute

Denielle Wilson, cello

Reuben Hall, violin

2011

Halla Kalmansson, soprano

Elaine McDonald, contralto

Leslie Castellanos, soprano

Eliann Reinhardt, violin

Iago Fernandes, classical guitar

Jean-Paul Fernandes, classical guitar

Edwin Choque, cello

Edwin Choque is a senior nursing major with a gift for the cello. As a former student and orchestra member of Keene Adventist Elementary School and Chisholm Trail Academy, Adventist education and music have been a huge part of his life. He chose Southwestern to continue that tradition. Choque received the music festival scholarship in 2011, as well as other scholarships in music and academics.

Choque is a member of the Southwestern Symphony Orchestra, Southwestern String Quartet and of the soccer team. Now a senior, he continues to maintain a high grade average. According to Choque, the key to balancing academics, music, and athletics is prioritizing and time management.

"If there's a big test coming up, you have to plan ahead and start studying," Choque says. "But it's still good to take a break, and you can use your practice or game as your break time. Music stimulates the brain; exercising helps your blood circulate. Then you can go back to your studying afterwards. Even if the test is the next day, just cramming and studying the night before is not the best way to study for a big test. You have to manage your time and start studying in advance, and then you have the time to take your break from studying and go to practice."