Pipestone School of Music, the educational branch of Cascadia Music, has announced the winners of its annual merit scholarship, the Christine Cherrington Memorial Scholarship.
Liberty Bell High School junior Liv Aspholm won first place on the piano, Liberty Bell sophomore Sophia Newton finished second with her violin pieces, Methow Valley Elementary School third-grader Zoie Dubowy’s violin entries took third place, and Liberty Bell freshman Kellen Miles earned Honorable Mention for his classical guitar numbers.
The scholarship was established in memory of Christine Cherrington, who passed away in 1991. Through the generosity of this memorial award, Cascadia Music offers both need-based and merit-based scholarships. The merit portion of the awards is complete for this year, with Aspholm, Newton, Dubowy, and Miles receiving $300, $200, $100 and $50, respectively, but funds remain in the need-based scholarship pool. Interested applicants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Like so many other things in a global pandemic, the scholarship competition was unusual this year, with applicants competing via videos, versus the traditional in-person auditions. The 11 applicants for the award submitted videos to the contest’s judges, who then made their award selections based on these audition clips.
Aspholm, who won the contest with Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 9 No. 1 and Watchman’s Song by Grieg, says that when she first learned that the audition would be virtual, it flooded her with relief. “It just took the anxiety level down,” she says. “There was no pressure of the judges sitting right in front of you.”
Aspholm, who began playing piano when she was about 8 years old and currently studies with Lynette Westendorf, made multiple recordings of each of her entries, but ultimately submitted her first recording of each of her songs. Both pieces were songs Aspholm had worked on with Westendorf in the past, although she prepared for the competition on her own, using her lessons to focus on other pieces.
Aspholm also plays in a neighborhood band of young women, called Acid Guacamole. She doesn’t think she’ll major or minor in music in college, but plans to continue playing music throughout her life.
Newton, who has been playing the violin since she was 4 years old, says that “it was a bit strange performing in my living room and sending in a recording.” Unlike Aspholm, Newton found the virtual competition more stressful than performing live would have been. “I used to do recordings of my playing in Seattle every few years for a group of Suzuki teachers,” Newton says. “I am glad to have had that experience already to help me apply for this award.” Newton played the first movement of Bach’s Concerto in A minor for her audition.
Cascadia’s Scholarship and Education committee, under the leadership of board member Melissa Quigley, facilitated the virtual competition, and a panel of volunteer judges — Murray Sampson, Marcy Stamper, and John Trottier — reviewed the recordings and met on a Zoom video call to determine this year’s winners. The winning entries will be posted on Cascadia’s website soon: http://www.cascadiamusic.org/april-2020.