By Elaine Sorrentino
One of my favorite parts of the summer is during the final Summer Music Festival (SMF) performance in July, when our conductors celebrate the outstanding musicianship, leadership and dedication of our students. After two weeks of rehearsals, and with so many talented and ambitious young musicians, selecting only one or two students who stand out in a large ensemble is a difficult task. Each conductor looks for qualities such as playing collaboratively and confidently, having respect for fellow musicians, and acting as a role model for others.
As I sit in the audience, hankie in hand, these surprised (and probably nervous) students come up to receive their awards. Most of them receive scholarships toward next year’s Summer Music Festival program. But only one deserving recipient receives the Malcolm W. Rowell Music Education Scholarship awarded to a college-bound music education student. This special scholarship was established in honor of Rowell who served as Summer Music Festival Music Director for over 21 years.
This summer’s deserving recipient of the Rowell Scholarship was horn player Erin Jenkins of Hanover. Erin, who also plays clarinet and saxophone, has participated in Summer Music Festival (SMF) since tenth grade, and started at UMass at Amherst as a music major this fall.
Erin’s impressive music resume extends far beyond her experience here at South Shore Conservatory. Over her high school years she played principal horn and principal clarinet in Hanover High School’s (HHS) Symphonic Band, first tenor saxophone in HHS’s jazz ensemble, and was the drum major for the Pride of Hanover Marching Band. In addition, she was accepted into SEMSBA in 2016 and 2013, and scored 5 on her Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory test. Clearly music has had a profound impact on Erin’s life.
“My main goal and inspiration is to be able to share with others the effect that studying, creating, practicing, and performing music has had on my life. A mix of all of the musical experiences that I have been fortunate enough to take part in have all had powerful impacts in the way that I perceive, practice, perform, and share music (especially Summer Music Festival),” Erin wrote in her scholarship essay.
According to SMF Music Director Eric Laprade, she was selected because “Erin epitomizes the Summer Music Festival spirit. During her three years as a student at SMF she has shown herself to be a creative, dedicated, articulate and inspiring individual. She has contributed immensely to the Summer Music Festival culture and we are excited by her potential as a future music educator.”
Erin is very excited at the prospect of continuing her music training at UMass Amherst, a university with a great reputation for music education. “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of the horn studio at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. UMass has been my dream school for many years. I am excited to further my education and knowledge of the arts, and to get as many people as possible excited about music as I can.”
To learn more about South Shore Conservatory programs and scholarships, visit sscmusic.org.
Elaine Sorrentino is South Shore Conservatory’s Communications Director.