RAMI awards four scholarships to local students

RAMI awards four scholarships to local students


RAMI, the Rockford Area Music Industry, has awarded the following scholarships to gifted young musicians who will pursue a college education in music or a related field: Aminda (Mindy), Asher, Keith Country Day School, $2,000; Mike Davis, East High School, $1,000; Tarrah Evans, Home schooled, $1,000; Elizabeth Young, Winnebago High School, $1,000

Mindy Asher has been described as enriching Rockford’s music community with her knowledge and skill of the cello. An expressive and technically secure artist, Asher excels both musically and academically as a Belle Emerson Keith Scholar, principal cello in the Rockford Youth Symphony Orchestra or RAYSO, National Honor Society and as part of the Allegretto String Quartet.

Establishing several goals for her future, Asher’s plans include earning both a bachelor’s degree and eventually a master’s degree in music. Other goals on Asher’s list include belonging to and touring with a professional string quartet, becoming a member of a professional symphony orchestra, and exploring new musical techniques on cello such as jazz and improvisation.

East High School student Michael Davis shines as a gifted pianist and a versatile musician. Performing many styles of piano ranging from classical, jazz, ragtime and popular, Davis easily handles the large amount of printed music with creativity and improvisation. A member of the East High School Jazz Ensemble for three years, Davis is also active in athletics, excelling in football, wrestling, track and performs in the band at Christ United Methodist Church every Sunday. In 2002, Davis auditioned and was accepted into the top Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) All District Jazz Ensemble and received an outstanding Performer/Soloist Award during the Rock Valley College Jazz Festival. Davis plans on attending North Central College to study music and someday would like to teach music to students at the elementary and high school levels.

Ranking as an accomplished vocalist and a skilled clarinetist, Elizabeth Young is described as giving her all to everything. An honor roll student at Winnebago High School, Young participates in Symphonic Band, Chorus, Chorale, Jazz Band, Pep Band and pitches for the school softball team. Along with being first-chair in the Rockford Area Youth Orchestra (RAYSO,) Davis competed and won the Mendelssohn Club competition. Planning on pursuing a career in vocal performance, Davis was accepted to Berklee College of Music and plans to study for a degree in either Music Business or Music Therapy.

Tarrah Evans’ desire to become a music teacher directed her through her piano and cello studies at the Rockford College Music Academy. Taking pleasure in giving back to the community through her music, Evans never misses an opportunity to play for her church, school, Mendelssohn Club or community. Believing the opportunity to teach others a gift to be shared, Evans would like to make a difference by sharing her music as a teacher and a performer. A unique student, Evans comes from a supportive, yet unmusical background. Striving to realize her dream as a music instructor, Evans will become the first in her family to receive a college education when she begins attending Wartburg College majoring in music. Selected as a Wartburg Presidential Scholar, Evans receives the highest piano scholarship award the school offers.

Since 1997, RAMIs has awarded $14,000 in scholarships to young musicians with great talent who are preparing for a future career in music. The scholarships were awarded at the 11th Annual RAMI Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at the MetroCentre. The proceeds from the RAMI Awards Ceremony partially fund the scholarships. Gary Wilmer spent much of his life helping people involved in music. The RAMIs permanent committee established The Gary Wilmer Memorial Trust of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois in his memory to provide scholarships for future musicians.

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