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Festival at Sandpoint announces 2023 scholarship winners

| May 30, 2023 1:00 AM

The Festival at Sandpoint has granted five local high school and college students scholarships for accomplishments in music, writing and art.

Violinist Hannah Adams was selected as the winner of the $2,500 2023 Festival at Sandpoint Instrumental Scholarship.

Adams has participated in a variety of community and school orchestras, including the Coeur d'Alene High School Chamber Orchestra, Spokane Youth Symphony and the North Idaho Youth Symphony throughout middle and high school. In her free time, Adams offers private violin lessons to beginners, participates in camps like the Belmont University Summer Strings Camp and performs in assisted-care facilities.

“I’ve wanted to be a music teacher since I was 12 years old. I consider myself very blessed to have had so many incredible teachers, directors, and conductors. They have inspired me every step of the way, and my dream is to follow in their footsteps,” Adams said. “They have supported me, encouraged me, and shown me how to do things I never thought I could. I hope to one day do for someone else what my teachers have done for me.”

Adams plans to attend Belmont University in Tennessee and pursue a degree in music education. In the future, she hopes to return to Sandpoint and build a program for string instrumentalists.

Festival at Sandpoint Instrumental Scholarship 2023 runner-up Evan Schwenk also received an award of $1,500.

Schwenk first began playing violin at age eight, but it wasn’t until middle school that he discovered his passion for the cello.

Aside from performing in several chamber orchestras, including the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, Schwenk finds joy in teaching. Schwenk co-teaches the Sandpoint Christian School’s junior orchestra and is the full-time student cello instructor at the Suzuki String Academy.

“Teaching young children how to play the cello is an amazing opportunity that comes with many rewards. As a teacher, not only do I get to impart knowledge and skills, but I also get to be a positive influence in the lives of my students,” Schwenk said. “It is a privilege to be able to introduce children to the joys of music and to help them develop their creativity and artistic expression.”

Schwenk plans to attend the University of Idaho and pursue a double major in music education and cello performance. After college, he hopes to perform in a large orchestra and start a youth symphony in Sandpoint.

Arie VanDenBerg was the recipient of the $1,000 2023 Charley Packard Memorial Songwriting Scholarship with his original song “We Ain’t Done” performed on guitar.

VanDenBerg has been playing guitar for five years; however, he dreamed of being a musician since he was young. Aside from four months of beginner guitar lessons at 13, VanDenBerg has been self-taught. He uses songwriting as a creative outlet to decompress from school and sports.

VanDenBerg plans to attend Chapman University in California and pursue a degree in business and wants to continue performing and honing his songwriting skills in college.

Festival at Sandpoint & Angels Over Sandpoint Arts Scholarship winner Elizabeth Couch received $2,000.

The area of focus for the Festival at Sandpoint & Angels Over Sandpoint Arts Scholarship changes each year. The focus for 2023 was writing, with previous years focusing on visual arts, dance and theater, and vocal performance.

Couch was selected as the recipient of this scholarship for her diverse portfolio of creative writing. She enjoys writing a variety of genres including, but not limited to, poetry, fantasy and literary fiction. Couch notes her teachers and Sandpoint High School’s Creative Writing Club as some of the primary inspirations for her writing.

“I have developed some of my best writing skills because my English teachers guided me through symbolism, emotive language, and self-reflection,” Couch said. “Without their encouragement, would not have pursued the genre of poetry in which I feel best conveys my passion.”

As the winner of the 2023 Lineup Poster Artist Contest, Max Bazler also received a $1,000 scholarship applied toward continuing his college education.

Bazler is a college student pursuing a degree in Graphic and Web Design from North Idaho College.

Information: festivalatsandpoint.com/scholarship-winners

photo

(Photo courtesy FESTIVAL AT SANDPOINT)

Sandpoint High School Assistant Principal TJ Clary, Sandpoint High School Principal Jacki Crossingham, Elizabeth Couch, and FAS education manager Paul Gunter pose for a photo after the Festival at Sandpoint has granted five local high school and college students scholarships for accomplishments in music, writing, and art.