2022 Scout House Scholarship Award Winners

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The two recipients of this year’s Wilf Blum Youth Scholarship awards, offered annually by Preston Scout House Band Inc., managed to make significant progress despite the restrictions on music ensemble activities over the past two years because of COVID 19. Both graduating students will enter university music programs in the fall.

Hannah Gordon of Preston High School and Madison (Mady) Ruehl of Galt Collegiate Institute (GCI) will each receive a $100 award during their school graduation ceremonies in the fall. Both high schools provided a steady supply of new members for Preston Scout House Band throughout Band’s most productive years in the 1950s and 1960s. The former towns of Preston and Galt are now neighborhoods in the city of Cambridge.

Hannah Gordon is an outstanding trumpet player who will begin studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Wilfrid Laurier University in the fall. She hopes to perform in ensembles, including orchestras, and offer private music lessons after graduation.

She started music training at age 13 and has taken lessons at Beckett School at Laurier, which provides high quality instruction in voice, piano, brass, woodwinds, string and other instruments. Enrolment is about 1,000 students supported by a faculty of more than 50 instructors. Her instructor at Beckett was Eric Detweiler. Her current private teacher is Michael Fedyshyn. She has studied music theory in high school. She has passed the Royal Conservatory of Music grade 4 level exam and performs at the grade 8 level.

She practices trumpet and piano for about an hour and a half daily, supporting an active schedule that began in the honor band in grade eight, which performed at Laurier University as well as in her own school. She was first involved with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at age 14 and has performed three times at McMaster University. She has played in a recital at the Beckett School. She has performed with the Preston High School band at other schools and at regional championship concerts in the town of Collingwood.

Other interests include the history of music and other subjects, and psychology.

“Hannah is a very gifted trumpet player who is extremely dedicated to honing her craft,” stated Leena Girsa, head of the music department at Preston High School. “In 26 years of teaching instrumental music I have not had a student with a more beautiful tone.”

Mady Ruehl began her music training at age 14. She intends to become a music teacher after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in music at the University of Guelph. Her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music were interrupted by COVID restrictions.

Although her main instrument is the flute, she began taking private violin lessons while in grade 10. She developed a keen interest in other instruments, including the trombone, ukulele and guitar to help understand different musical techniques. Based on theory lessons, she has started composing pieces featuring the instruments she has available at home.

She has been performing regularly since taking part in the Clemens Mill Public School talent show four years in a row: playing the recorder, singing, using cups as percussion instruments, playing the ukulele. During her high school years, she has performed in the concert band, jazz band and concert choir. Earlier this year, she performed with the Cambridge Youth Orchestra alongside the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. She was the only grade nine student to join the GCI concert band.

Considered a natural leader among her peers, she and a fellow student established a student-led GCI Drama Club while she was also involved in all her music activities.

“Mady used all opportunities provided to push herself out of her comfort zone with challenging music, and always sought individual feedback that went beyond the required material,” stated Tiffany Moser, Music Department Head and Instrumental Music Teacher at GCI.

Preston Scout House Band Inc. is a non-profit corporation with registered charity status able to issue tax receipts to donors, incorporated under the Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario on November 29, 1956. The multi-unit organization offers individuals the opportunity to “Arrange the soundtrack of your life” in marching arts activities starting at a young age and continuing throughout life.

The three active units are: Scout House Youth Band for young men and women up to age 22; Silver Leaves Brass, an award winning brass ensemble; Magic of Scout House competitive winter guard, winner of five consecutive North East Color Guard Circuit championships since 2015.

For more information about Preston Scout House Band Inc. activities, contact telephone (519) 653-3376, email PSHBAND [dot] INC [at] outlook [dot] com

Posted by on Monday, June 27th, 2022. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.