A traditional highlight in the annual calendar of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League, Inc. (CSOL) is the awarding of scholarships in support of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s mission to provide educational opportunities to the youth of the community. In a typical year, as many as 80-90 youth participate in live auditions for awards in three categories: college scholarships, matching grant lesson scholarships for members of the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra and Charleston Symphony Youth Strings, and summer study scholarships.
Funding for these scholarships in the past has been provided by proceeds from the annual Designer Show House in the spring, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, which also precluded live auditions. Therefore this year’s scholarship program was limited to college applicants, who provided virtual auditions via YouTube. Seven qualified applicants submitted entries. These unaccompanied performances were submitted to a panel of volunteer judges, Barry Goldsmith, Enoch Sherman and Barbara Borg.
The David and Karen Stahl Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded each year to the college applicant with the highest audition score, is funded by donations and an ongoing commitment of the CSOL and not dependent on annual fundraising. CSOL announced that Ashley Yoon is the recipient of the 2020 David and Karen Stahl Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,500. Ashley plans to attend The Julliard School and study violin performance.
Thanks to other generous donations, the League was also able to fund two college scholarships of $2,000 each to the following students:
Lydia Pless, cello
Jesse Young, bassoon
Lydia is graduating from Academic Magnet High School and will attend the University of South Carolina where she will study cello performance and biochemistry. Jesse attended Wando High School and will study music education at the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University.
In past years the winners have performed a live recital, open to the public. This year, the winners have agreed to share their auditions on YouTube. This virtual recital is available on the League website https://csolinc.org/scholarship-winners.
CSOL President Lyn Magee commented “Congratulations to this year’s winners! We look forward to hearing from these talented young performers in the years to come and to welcoming applicants to the CSOL Music Scholarship audition program next year.”