Kassidy Chamberlain, a sixth-grade student at William Paca Middle School, who plays flute in the 7th & 8th Grade Concert Band, sings soprano in the girls chorus and is a member of the Select Jazz Band and Select Jazz Choir, has won the Joel Ratner Suffolk County Music Educators Association Scholarship for 2018, a prestigious award for music students in grades five through 11 who wish to continue their musical studies during the summer months. As part of the application, students were required to write a personal essay, provide a list of all of their musical accomplishments and submit a letter of recommendation from their current music teacher. For her efforts, Kassidy will receive $500 toward a summer program of her choice to further her musical growth.
Additionally, Kassidy recently learned that she has been accepted at the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy Intermediate Division for students entering grades seven through nine. Ithaca awarded her a partial scholarship to attend their program. The combined awards will provide about 90% of the funding needed for Kassidy to participate in this musical experience.
Outside of school, Kassidy participates in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Suffolk Treble Choir, an auditioned ensemble which rehearses weekly and performs concerts throughout the year at the Staller Center, the Tilles Center and Carnegie Hall. For the second year in a row, Kassidy has been selected to the SCMEA Division I East All County Band, which will hold its annual concert on Sunday, March 11. Kassidy will receive her scholarship award at this concert.
In her scholarship essay Kassidy wrote, “With each new musical experience my love for the arts has grown stronger. Even though I am only 11 years old, I know there are many more musical experiences I want to participate in. I hope to have the opportunity to continue my studies this summer through a program like the Ithaca Summer Music Academy.” Now that she has officially been accepted to the Ithaca program and has received multiple scholarships, she is well on her way to fulfilling her personal goal.
Kassidy’s music teachers at William Paca Middle School are Joseph Cordaro (band), Kaitlin Albus (chorus) and Michelle Seifert (select chorus). In fifth grade, Kassidy was a Level IV performer (NYSSMA solos) at Tangier Smith Elementary School (teacher: Sharon Kitzis). She is a Level V performer this year at William Paca Middle School.