Recently the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society chose singer Emily Lowe as the recipient of its annual Caroline Worthington Scholarship. Emily graduated from the regional high school this past June and is the daughter of Cheryl and Erik Lowe of West Tisbury, and the granddaughter of Ernest Mendenhall and Kathy Logue.
The Chamber Music Society is in the middle of its forty-first year of presenting quality concerts year-round. Its Caroline Worthington scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is given each year to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in music performance, and who has made a commitment to pursue music in the future.
A mezzo-soprano, Emily is a veteran of four high school musicals: A Chorus Line, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Willy Wonka, and Rent, which raised eyebrows when first proposed due to its focus on AIDS and sexual behavior.
And how did the high school version of Rent differ from Broadway?
“We couldn’t say the ‘f’ word,” Emily said. “Basically, we had to make sure you could bring young children to it.”
In her sophomore year, Emily was chosen by the Minnesingers, the Island’s prestigious chorus of high-school-age singers, to join their alto section. During her junior year she sang with the Massachusetts All State Chorus at Boston’s Symphony Hall. She and fourteen others were also chosen by the high school’s theatre director Kate Murray to participate in the state’s drama guild festival last summer. The group took their show, The Secret of the Seven Sisters, overseas to the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Emily has also shown an unflagging commitment to music in all aspects. During her sophomore through senior years her class in music therapy, made up mostly of fellow Minnesingers, sang for the residents of Windemere, the assisted living residential program located at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. The class would sing their numbers and then join their audience in rollicking renditions of golden oldies such as You Are My Sunshine.
In addition to being recognized by the Chamber Music Society’s scholarship, Emily was awarded in June the Minnesingers’ scholarship. And, perhaps most impressively, she won the Island Community Chorus’s Peter Boak Award, named for its longtime director. When Mr. Boak bestowed the award at a gathering of the chorus, the group of over 100 seasoned singers of all ages rose as one to give her a standing ovation.
In addition to their annual student scholarship, the Chamber Music Society’s strings program offers reduced cost instrument rentals to Island youth. It also makes available scholarships for students to take private lessons in piano, strings and, beginning this year, the flute.
“We’re always looking for new applicants,” said Elaine Eugster, who has run the scholarship program for the last six years. “The only criteria are financial need, and a recommendation from the teacher with whom the student has been studying for at least one year.”
For more information on the above programs and scholarships: Caroline Worthington Scholarship, call Elaine Pace at 508-696-3796; string rental program, call Diane Wall at 508-693-4466; student scholarship program, call Elaine Eugster at 508-693-7614; Chamber Music Society, call 508-696-8055 or visit mvcms.org.