Meet the 2001-2002 AMCA Scholarship Winners

The AMCA Scholarship Committee is pleased to present to our membership the successful winners of our Scholarships for the academic year 2001-2002. Our congratulations to these outstanding young musicians! (See Scholarship winners 2001 announced!)

Bryan Blessing

This is Bryan's first AMCA Scholarship Award. This Fall Bryan is entering his Sophomore year at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, where he is studying in both voice and guitar. In his High School studies, Bryan excelled in all aspects of his music programs. He won Superior Ratings at the Minnesota State Solo-Ensemble contests and was a two-time member of the Minnesota All-State Choir. Throughout Bryan's High School years he was an active member of the Staples Area Men's Chorus along with his father, Mike, who has been a member of this chorus for over thirty years. Stan Carlson, Music Director of SAMC, shared with us that "Bryan has the ability to run sectionals and full choir rehearsals. He is extremely musical."

Future: Bryan's future directions are in music education. "Because of my love of music, I decided to teach others about it, hoping that people can enjoy similar experiences".

Bryan is proudly sponsored by the Staples Area Men's Chorus. ($700.)

Heather Brandon

Heather is a first year recipient of an AMCA Scholarship. This Fall Heather will enter her second year of studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario. She has embarked on an unusual "double major" study in both voice and violin (allowed only on occasion by the Faculty). In her first year at the University Heather performed in the Symphony Orchestra and sang with the Campus Choir. In addition she performed in the London Musical Theatre's production of The Gondoliers. Upon graduation from High School she was awarded the Governor General's Award for her graduation average of 96.8 %. Prior to entering University Heather was the recipient of many awards for her proficiency in her musical endeavours. This past June Heather was a featured soloist at a combined concert of the Kawartha Male Chorus and the Queensmen of Toronto Male Chorus.

Future: Following her completion of her undergraduate studies Heather hopes to obtain her Masters degree in either Music Performance or Music Education.

The members of the Kawartha Male Chorus are proud to sponsor Heather's application for this scholarship award. ($700.)

Leah Gordon

Leah is receiving her second AMCA Scholarship award. This very talented young woman is beginning her second year of studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Leah's past accolades are highlighted in last year' winners profiles. In addition, this past year Leah was involved in the University Women's Choir and the MacMillan Chamber Choir. At the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival she was named the winner of the Intermediate Silver Tray having placed first in all the voice classes in which she was entered. At two combined concerts of the Kawartha Male Chorus and the Queensmen of Toronto Male Chorus Leah performed a number of solo selections and combined with Giles Tomkins (another AMCA Winner) in a most entertaining duet.

The Kawartha Male Chorus is proud to serve as Leah's sponsor.


Karen Pinkney

This award will be Karen's third consecutive AMCA Scholarship. This Fall Karen will commence her Junior year studies at Pensacola Christian College in Florida. Being a past winner Karen's many accomplishments are highlighted in previous profiles. At Pensacola Karen is studying music with a sacred voice concentration. As well Karen has been active in a number of musical dramas. She continues to excel academically being named to the Dean's List at PCC.

Future: "I hope to be able to further use my talents for the Lord someday, whether that means teaching, performing, or ministering in the local church".

Karen is proudly sponsored by the Mansfield Men's Chorus. ($700.)


Christina Rice

Christina is a first time recipient of an AMCA Scholarship Award. This September she will enter her Freshman year at Central Michigan University. Her Undergraduate programs involve a major in Music Education and a minor in Vocal Performance. In Christina's programs at Midland High School she excelled in both her choral and instrumental activities. She was a featured soloist in the International Choir of the International Bands of America European Tour (July,1999). Christina has also found time to be very involved in her church's music programs. In addition to all her music accomplishments Christina is a member of the National Honors Society.

Future: In the future Christina wishes to become a teacher "because I want to influence a child's life."

Christina is proudly sponsored by the Midland Men of Music. ($700.)

Giles Tomkins

is this year's winner of The Lester Axdahl Scholarship Award (also the 2000-2001 winner of this same award).

Giles will commence his Senior year this Fall at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. His past accomplishments have been highlighted in previous winner's profiles as this is Giles' third consecutive scholarship award. This past year Giles has also been enrolled in the Opera School's Undergraduate Program, and performed in the world premiere of Kulesha's The Last Duel and in Puccini's La Boheme. This summer Giles sang with Opera Lyric in Toronto. Giles also performed as guest soloist with a number of choirs in Toronto. In April and in June he was a featured soloist at combined concerts of the Kawartha Male Chorus and the Queensmen of Toronto Male Chorus.In June Giles placed second at the Ontario Provinical Kiwanis Music Festival Finals (Voice Diploma Class).

The Queensmen of Toronto Male Chorus is very proud to sponsor Giles' application for an AMCA Scholarship. ($800)

Since 3 Sep 2001