SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

2014 Sam Pitcher Scholarship Recipients Announced


January 25, 2014
Saturday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Fund announced the selection of four Ketchikan students to receive 2014 Sam Pitcher Music Scholarships. The students are 11th grader Hana Lee Oshima, granddaughter of Steve and Grace Kinney, 10th grader Amber Junker, daughter of Troy and Jennifer Junker, 9th grader Kinani Halvorsen, daughter of Chrissy and Peter Halvorsen, and 9th grader Lily Vaughn, daughter of Brenda Vaughn.

jpg 2014 Sam Pitcher Scholarship Recipients Announced

2014 Sam Pitcher Scholarship Recipients
From L. to R. Lily Vaughn, Kinani Halvorsen, Amber Junker and Hana Lee Oshina

The scholarships are for $750 to Hana Lee Oshima to attend Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado, and $500 each awarded to the other three recipients to attend the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, goals and musicianship. 

Hana Lee Oshima has studied classical piano, and alto saxophone in both Ketchikan and Kanayama, Japan. In addition to playing in Kayhi’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, she has been selected for Southeast Honor band and McPherson’s Windjammers band, which consists of primarily adults. She also sings with the Ketchikan Concert Choir. She hopes to continue to be involved with music in some way throughout her life.

Amber Junker plays trombone and electric bass guitar. She plays in Kayhi’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band as well as McPherson’s Windjammers Band. Additionally she has been selected to play with the All-Alaska Jazz Band, Southeast Honor Band, and all-State Honor Band.  She hopes to pursue musical studies in college.

Kinani Halvorsen plays trombone, piano and didgeridoo. As a freshman she plays with both the Kayhi Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. Kinani hopes to continue learning, and may study music education in college.

Lily Vaughn plays percussion and piano. As a freshman she occupies the sole percussion chair in the Kayhi Jazz Band and also plays with McPherson’s Soundwaves Band. She hopes to improve her overall skills, especially in improvisation and soloing.

In a news release, the committee stated as always they had a difficult time choosing this year's scholarship winners from a number of high quality applicants.  The committee is strongly encouraging those who were not chosen this year to re-apply next year.   Six people in addition to Sam’s parents are members of this advisory committee. Quoting the news release, "We are honored to provide support to the talented young musicians in Ketchikan!"

The Sam Pitcher Music Scholarship Fund was started following Sam’s death in 2003 at age 16. Sam’s passion was music. He participated in all the Kayhi and McPherson bands as well as The Rubber Band. Sam attended both The Sitka Fine Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. The scholarships are for Ketchikan students in grades 7 – 12 to attend summer music programs like the ones Sam enjoyed.

Two $500 scholarships were first awarded in 2004. In this 11th year, the number of scholarships awarded total 47, which results in an excess of $23,000 being distributed to recipients.  The primary fundraiser for the scholarships is the Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert, “An Evening of Jazz, Blues and Rock,” which usually takes place in December. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the fund at any time in care of The Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Association, 330 Main Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901. The Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council (KAAHC).

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News & Photograph: 

Sam Pitcher Music Scholarship Committee

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