History of our Scholarship program
The Scholarship Program is funded by the Vero Beach Choral Society, a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) corporation. The Scholarship Endowment Fund was opened in 1997 to assist seniors graduating from Indian River County high schools who plan to major in music on the college/university level. Annually, one or more scholarships totaling $4,000 each are awarded and renewed through four undergraduate years, providing the student remains in good standing as a music major. Candidates are interviewed and auditioned before approval by the VBCS Board of Directors. Application forms are available through the Guidance Counseling Office of each high school. Deadline for application is in March of each year.
Since its inception in 1997 the Choral Society has assisted financially eighteen talented music students to pursue their love of music and the arts.
Past Recipients include:
2013 Lauren Douglas
Lauren Douglas graduated from Vero Beach High School in 2013. She has been playing violin since the age of six, was concertmaster of the VBHS Orchestra, played with the Treasure Coast Youth Symphony, and has privately studied both violin and piano in preparation for her college music studies. Although Lauren is a classically trained violinist, her repertoire of styles includes bluegrass and Celtic fiddle and the diversity has afforded her numerous performance opportunities around town.
Lauren attends Belmont University in Nashville, majoring in violin performance. Her goal is to be a professional violinist performing in ensembles and chamber groups worldwide.
2012 Trevor Klutz
Trevor Dean Klutz graduated from Vero Beach High School in 2012. He has been playing the violin since the fifth grade but over the years also explored multiple musical instruments and genres that include classical, Celtic, folk, and bluegrass. He has also collaborated with other student musicians to form several ensembles that have performed in the community for charitable causes such as the March of Dimes and Relay for Life.
Trevor attends Stetson University in Deland, majoring in music performance, where he’s studying both guitar and violin in addition to being part of the orchestra. His career goal is to be a professional musician.
2012 Mariel Dos Santos
Mariel Dos Santos graduated from Vero Beach High School in 2012. In addition to singing, she plays the viola and is a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Mariel attends Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she’s double majoring in vocal performance and human biology. Opera studies are under consideration. Her long-term goal is to work in pediatrics.
2011 Christopher Herman, Percussion
Christopher Herman graduated from Vero Beach High School in 2001. His high school achievements include performances with the Florida All-State Concert Band, the Florida All-State Orchestra, the Treasure Coast’s Four-County Jazz Band, and the Four-County Concert Band. He has performed with the Treasure Coast Percussion Academy at conventions and festivals. He has also organized and performed at numerous fundraisers as well as performed for musicals, at churches, and with the community orchestra.
Christopher has studies under Ron Hughes, director of the Treasure Coast Percussion Academy, as well as attended percussion camps in Orlando and at the University of North Texas.
Christopher presently attends the University of South Florida, majoring in percussion performance. He performs with the USF Orchestra and Wind Ensemble as well as many percussion ensembles. He plans to continue his education toward a Doctorate Degree to teach at the college level and perform with a professional orchestra.
In photo: Christopher Herman is a showstopper on the marimba, one of his favorite percussive instruments.
2009 Michael Herman, Saxophone
Michael Herman graduated from Vero Beach High School in 2009. While at Vero Beach High School, he was enrolled in the Advanced Placement program. In addition to his academic studies, he was involved in every aspect of the Vero Beach High School Band program. Michael was a member of the outdoor band, the top symphonic band, the jazz Ensemble, and the saxophone quartet, as well as many other chamber groups. Outside of the Vero Band program, he was an active musician; playing in many community musical events. Michael was also a member of the Atlantic Saxophone Quartet, based out of Stuart, FL.
Michael has received multiple awards for music at regional, state, and national levels. Most recently the Vero Beach High School Band presented him with two awards that are among the highest honors a high school band can present receiving both the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz and the John Phillip Sousa Award for band service.
Michael is currently attending The University of Central Florida where he is pursuing a double major in Music Performance with a concentration in Jazz Studies and Civil Engineering.
2008 Cory High, Percussion
Cory High is a graduate of Vero Beach High School where he studied under James Sammons, Shanti Simon-Nolan, and Colbert Howell. He is an active percussionist on his way to a professional career of Music and Music Education. Cory started playing in 1999 under the direction of local percussionist Ron Hughes.
During his middle and high school studies, Cory was a member of the 2004, 2006, and 2008 all state band and orchestras where he served 1st chair consecutively.
Currently in his senior year, Cory has studied under Dr. Kenneth Broadway at the University of Florida School of Music and is majoring in Music Education and Percussion Performance. During one and a half years of his attendance, he has performed/studied with Edward Lisk, Dr. Charles Hoffer, Andrew Beale, and Andreas Steiner, the 1st chair performer and professor of the Salzburg Orchestra and Salzburg University in Salzburg, Austria.
Cory’s future plans are to study abroad with the University of Florida, work toward a Doctorate Degree, and teach on the college level.
2008 Emilio Ruttlant, Flute
Emilio Rutllant graduated from the Vero Beach High School in 2008 and is now studying at Stetson University in his senior year. His talent playing the flute and other woodwind instruments is well known in the Vero Beach community, he having played in many community musical events. Emilio’s life revolves around music while maintaining his faith in God and a respect for his mother. Emilio takes formal lessons in both Classical and Jazz giving him a wide range of techniques that he employs in several community groups or with any ensemble wishing to make music. Emilio’s musical interests include composing, arranging music, coaching and giving private lessons. He also enjoys singing.
Emilio earned many school honors during his school years and he was a two-time winner of the Vero Beach Symphony Orchestra Concert Competition.
As a respite from music, Emilio likes to socialize and for sports his favorite game is soccer. He will travel whenever he can draw himself away from his musical commitments and the opportunity arises.
Emilio’s transitional goal is to perform with a renowned symphony orchestra as a stepping stone to becoming a solo artist which he describes as his “Ultimate Dream.”
2007 Michelle Bommarito, Percussion
Michelle Bommarito is a percussionist and a 2007 graduate of Vero Beach High School. At VBHS she participated in the band, orchestra and choral programs. She is currently in her senior year at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, pursuing her instrumental music education degree.
In the Spring semester she will be interning at both Flagler Palm Coast High School and Buddy Taylor Middle School, in Palm Coast, FL. At Stetson, Miss Bommarito is participating in the University Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra and the Percussion Ensemble.
While at Stetson she has studied with Kevin Garry, percussionist in the Jacksonville Symphony and currently with Marja Kerney. Miss Bommarito is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity for Women, Collegiate Music Educators National Conference and National Bandmasters Association. After graduation, Miss Bommarito plans on teaching for a few years before getting a Masters Degree in Music Education and Conducting.
2007 Danya Etter, Voice-Soprano
Danya Etter graduated from Indian River Charter High School in 2007. She was president of the chorus her senior year. She sang a solo with the Vero Beach Choral Society (Once in Royal David’s City) when they were joined by the Indian River Charter High School in December 2005. She is now a senior at Stetson University majoring in Music Education. Danya has had three lead roles in Stetson University’s Opera Theatre playing “Ludmilla” in The Bartered Bride, “Berenice” in Berenice, and “Nella” in Gianni Schicchi. Danya has also been in the top choir at Stetson University (Concert Choir) since her freshman year.
Danya sang beautifully for the audition committee and this, together with her grades and dedication to music, resulted in the award of a scholarship.
2006 Jelani Beyah, Piano
2005 Candace Collins, Flute
2004 Charles Clemmer, Trumpet
2003 Matthew Filosa, Percussion
2002 Kira Mulcahy, Oboe & Bassoon
2002 Emily Pedlow, Piano & Clarinet
2001 Ralph Blanco, Piano
2000 Tyler Greene, Guitar
1999 Eric "Sabi" Lofgren, Piano-Composer
1999 Brenda Turner, Voice-Soprano
1998 Mark Duhame, Trumpet
1997 Jessica McClure, Voice