Community Giving

From the moment it was organized in 1927, the Kingsport Music Club has held true to its purposes “to promote interest in and the study of music in the community, and to provide opportunities for the development of young musicians.”

In normal years, the club holds monthly meetings, presents a members’ recital and hosts a young artist recital with monetary awards for senior students. This year, because of the pandemic, many of those activities — like so many others —had to be put on hold.

The scholarships, however, were far too important to wait.

Knowing the pandemic had created economic hardship for many families, the Kingsport Music Club decided to move forward with the need-based awards it presents each year for local students to take private music lessons.

Each scholarship is for $400 and four are awarded annually: two Will George Scholarships (Grades 9-12), one Anna Gamble Scholarship (Grades 6-8) and one Bethel-Jackson/Ellis Scholarship (Grades 6-12).

The call for applications went out and the response confirmed the need. The club received 17 applications — an unusually high number, attributed to the pandemic and the toll it’s taken on families and specifically the arts.

Each of the applicants shared in their essay the love they have for music and their desire to develop and improve their skills. Many shared their heartbreaking need for financial assistance, and all came highly recommended by their teachers.

Faced with the tough task of choosing the recipients, the scholarship committee agreed there had to be a way to help more than just four of the deserving applicants. The committee reached out to its membership and to Mafair United Methodist Church. The response was immediate and amazing.

Because of their generosity, the Kingsport Music Club will be able to double the number of awards and provide eight scholarships totaling $3,200 to students in the community.

• Will George Scholarships will be awarded to senior vocalist Annabelle Parks and senior cellist Marangelie Cornelio.

• Anna Gamble Scholarships will be awarded to sixth-grade trumpeter Jackson Judkins and seventh-grade flutist Shelby Warren.

• The Bethel-Jackson/Ellis Scholarship will be awarded to junior vocalist Kaela Henley.

• Kingsport Music Club Scholarships, made possible this year through generous member donations and Mafair UMC, will be awarded to eighth-grade violinist Levi Phillips, junior vocalist Kyah Powers, and freshman flutist Jasmine Judkins.

Jasmine Judkins caught the eye of the committee with an application essay that revealed her generosity and selflessness.

“I really love music and strive to improve my skill. However, if you cannot provide a scholarship to both my brother and me, please give it to him. He really needs it right now more than I do in so many ways,” Jasmine wrote.

The committee had made the decision to honor her request. But, when club members and Mafair donated the extra funds, the committee saw it fitting to match her kindness with theirs and both she and her brother received scholarships.

The Kingsport Music Club congratulates all of these deserving, young musicians. The scholarship committee offers its deepest appreciation to its members and to Mafair United Methodist Church for their monetary contributions.