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Local

Sycamore Music Boosters awards Continuing College Music scholarships

SYCAMORE – Two local music students will be able to defray some of their college education costs, thanks to Continuing College Music Scholarships awarded in August by the Sycamore Music Boosters.

The 2020 Sycamore Music Booster Continuing College Music Scholarship winners are Rachel Hecht and Ryan Loitz. Hecht is a 2016 Sycamore High School graduate pursing degrees (bassoon performance and electrical engineering) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since fall 2016, Hecht has been a member of either the CU Boulder Symphonic Band or Concert Band. During the spring 2020 semester, she also was a member of the CU Philharmonia Orchestra and has been heavily involved in extracurricular music activities. In summer 2017 and 2018, she performed with the Rockford Summer Band. Hecht plans to continue studying in music in graduate school.

Loitz, a 2018 SHS graduate, plays clarinet and saxophone and has been surrounded by music ever since he can remember, he said. Loitz attends the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he has been heavily involved with multiple programs. From 2018 to 2020, he was a member of the UIS Camerata. He was principal chair and second chair on alto saxophone for the UIS Band 2018-2020, and he was second chair in clarinet for the UIS Orchestra during the same time. He also has performed in multiple recitals and juried performances while at UIS. This fall, he plans to transfer to Northern Illinois University, where he hopes to participate in the NIU Philharmonic ensemble and the All University Jazz Band and Latin Ensemble.

To qualify for a Continuing College Music Scholarship, applicants must be either juniors or seniors during the 2020-21 academic year, must major in music, must have a 3.0 or greater GPA, and must be actively be involved in a musical activity such as jazz band, marching band, choir or orchestra.

Shelly Bychowski, co-chairman of the Sycamore Music Boosters scholarship committee, said competition for scholarships was tough.

“We had a strong group of dedicated musicians who are also strong students,” Bychowski said. “It was tough to narrow down the applicant pool to two winners. All applicants were deserving.”

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