The Barton Community College Music Department awards 12 scholarships every year at about $3,000 each and 20 performance awards for non-music major students, which enables them to participate in ensembles. This could not be done without the community’s support of the annual Music Endowment Concert set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3 in the Fine Arts Auditorium. The suggested minimum donation is $5 at the door per person. The event is free for Barton students.
The evening of entertainment will include performances by the Hilltop Singers, Concert Choir, Barton Jazz Band, individual vocal soloists and ensembles and the Barton Dance program.
Barton Dance Instructor Danika Bielek said she is excited about the collaboration of the music and dance programs.
“The new dance program is excited to include some selections representing what our classes have worked on this spring,” she said. “Of these dances, one is a class piece from Ballet 1 with 10 students and live piano accompaniment by Alex Robl.”
There will also be a solo dance performance by Coral Weis and duet featuring Bielek and Karlie Stanley from Barton’s revitalized student dance company, the Barton Dance Theatre.
Director of Choral Activities Sara Oberle said the money raised goes directly to the Vocal and Instrumental Music Endowment Fund, which helps fund future scholarships to students interested in pursuing music as a career or students who want to participate in music as a life-long activity.
“Many students would not be able to pursue a degree without the generous financial assistance, period,” Oberle said. “Music is something that usually has cost involved with lessons and training, so Barton offers music majors a unique opportunity to offset their college expenses with our music major scholarship.”
The endowment started in 1998 with the help of the Barton Foundation and has since helped numerous students participate in music at Barton.
Barton sophomore Paul Claassen is one of the students who received a music scholarship and benefited from the generosity of those who attend and support the Endowment Concert.
“The money I have received has helped me with my whole college experience,” he said. “It has helped me not stress about how I am going to pay for college and allowed me to focus on becoming a better singer and the music teacher I want to be.”
Claassen decided he wanted to do something with music for his career during his junior year in high school. He chose music education feeling it where his passion lied.
Claassen said he encourages everyone to attend May 3.
“This concert is a big part of the Barton Music Program,” he said. “It shows how much each of the groups has grown this year and it is fun.”
Claassen said he is thankful to former Barton Director of Choral Activities Vern Fryberger and everyone who helped make the scholarship possible.
The Endowment Concert also helps benefit a program which began in January 2017 to provide tuition and fees scholarships to high school juniors and seniors who enroll in voice, piano or instrumental lessons. These students have been active in their school music programs, Barton’s 2018 musical “Curtains,” and competed in the Parnassus Club auditions and regional/state festivals.