Arts Alliance Awards Arts Scholarships to Five Students - Southern Maryland Headline News

Arts Alliance Awards Arts Scholarships to Five Students

From left to right: Benjamin Busch, Dezmond Covington, Joshua Lewis, Cameron Reynolds, and Quinn Waltman.
From left to right: Benjamin Busch, Dezmond Covington, Joshua Lewis, Cameron Reynolds, and Quinn Waltman.


WHITE PLAINS, Md. (Aug. 29, 2016)—For over sixteen years, the Charles County Arts Alliance (CCAA) has offered arts scholarships to one qualifying graduating senior from each Charles County public high school. These individual $1,000 scholarships will help students continue their visual, performing or literary arts college education. The scholarship recipients are Charles County residents and have each earned a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA). Each student's application included a detailed resume, a 500-word essay about his or her artistic and academic accomplishments and goals, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript of grades.

The Charles County Arts Alliance is proud to announce the recipients for this year's arts scholarship awards, who represent the highest level of artistic talent and academic achievement in Charles County schools. The 2016 scholarship recipients are as follows: Benjamin Busch of North Point High School, Dezmond Covington of Maurice J. McDonough High School, Joshua Lewis of La Plata High School, Cameron Reynolds of Thomas Stone High School and Quinn Waltman of Henry E. Lackey High School.

This year's recipient from North Point High School is Benjamin Busch with an academic and performing arts weighted GPA of 3.93 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advance Placement courses. In addition to his academic achievements, he has been a member of the Maryland All State Senior Band, the Tri-County Regional Honor Band, the Charles County High School Honor Band, the North Point High School Orchestra as Principal Saxophone, the NPHS Saxophone Orchestra as Soprano Saxophone, NPHS Jazz Ensemble as Lead Alto Saxophone and Section Leader, the NPHS Symphonic Band as Principal Alto Saxophone and Section Leader, the College of Southern Maryland Jazz Big Band "Solid Brass", and participated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade twice with Macy's Great American Marching Band. He won the Music Departmental Award for Outstanding Performer and has received Superior "I" ratings at the MMEA State Solo & Ensemble Festival for the last three years. He comes highly recommended by Benjamin Faris, his private instructor, who noted he was recently selected to perform at the International Saxophone symposium. Benjamin plans to attend West Virginia University and major in music performance and music education.

Dezmond Covington is CCAA's scholarship recipient from Maurice J. McDonough High School with an academic and performing arts weighted GPA of 3.57 that includes multiple Honors and Advance Placement courses. He was elected Class President for three years and was Class Vice President in his senior year for the Student Government Association. In addition to his academic achievements, has been a member of the Maryland All State Choir, the All County Honors Choir, and the Tri-County Honors Choir. His Choral Director, Teresa Mazzeo highly recommended him noting he was adjudicated with superior ratings as a member of the McDonough Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. As a member and leader of the Chamber Choir he has performed at many different venues including with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center. He was lead choreographer with the McDonough's Show Choir and toured local schools. As a member of the McDonough Drama Club he has been cast in several principal roles, lettered in his sophomore year, and attended several state level thespian festivals. Dezmond plans to attend Morgan State University with a major in Music Education. He wants to "…inspire students who have a love and passion for performing arts to continue to pursue their musical endeavors…"

This year's CCAA Scholarship recipient from La Plata High School is Joshua Lewis with an academic and performing arts weighted GPA of 4.47826 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advance Placement courses. He was World Language Honor Society President and Grand Academic Marshal for the Class of 2016 along with other Honors Scholar awards. In addition to his academic achievements, he has been a member of the Maryland Junior All State Band; the Maryland All State Senior Band; Principal Chair or Principal Tuba of the Charles County Honor Band, Charles County Youth Orchestra, La Plata High School Wind Ensemble, and Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestra. He won the Music Departmental Award for Outstanding Performer and comes highly recommended by Susan Eckerle, the director of La Plata High School Instrumental Music Department. As an athlete, he has played JV and Varsity Basketball, been a Varsity Cross-country runner, and won a La Plata High school Academic Letter and Pina and Scholar-Athlete Award. Besides using his teaching talents to coach other musicians and tutor middle school students in math, he regularly volunteers in a variety of community service activities. Joshua plans to attend the University of Maryland at College Park as a member of the Honors College. Music "…is an essential part of [his] life". He wants to combine his love for music and teaching as a Music Education major to motivate future musicians. He also has a dream of playing the tuba in a professional orchestra.

Cameron Reynolds is CCAA's scholarship recipient from Thomas Stone High School and she has an academic and fine arts weighted GPA of 4.13 that includes multiple Honors and Advance Placement courses. She was President of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society and Secretary of the National Honors Society and won numerous academic awards such as Outstanding Advanced Placement US History Student, First Place in the Thomas Stone High School Science Fair, and Second Place in the County Science Fair. In addition to her academic achievements, her artistic achievements include numerous art awards and exhibitions and a strong recommendation from Jason Churchill, the Art Department Chair. Recently she won First Place for Mixed Media at the Mattawoman Creek Art Center Seven Up High School Art Exhibit which was later exhibited at the Community Bank in a La Plata. Last year she placed second in Digital Photography at the Charles County Women's Club Art Show. Additionally she entered artwork in the Congressional Art Show which was on display at Congressman Steny Hoyer's office in Washington, DC. She ends her senior year with "…an innovative collaborative body of artwork…" in her portfolio as expressed by her art teacher. Cameron Reynolds plans to attend the University of Maryland College Park and will be enrolled in their Arts Scholars Program Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. Coincidentally she first gained confidence in her artistic abilities in elementary school when she won first place for art work at the Charles County Fair, a display sponsored by the Charles County Arts Alliance.

This year's CCAA Scholarship recipient from Henry E. Lackey High School is Quinn Waltman with an academic and fine arts weighted GPA of 3.89091 that includes multiple Honors and Advance Placement courses. She was President and Vice President of the National Art Honors Society and comes highly recommended by Lackey's Art Department Chair. In addition to her academic achievements, her artistic achievements include numerous art awards and exhibitions. Recently she won Second Place at the Mattawoman Creek Art Center Seven Up Exhibit and has won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Art at LHS two years in a row. Professionally she has exhibited and sold artwork at Jarrett Thor Fine Arts in Colonial Beach, Virginia. She ends her senior year with a large portfolio containing examples of digital photography, 2D drawings, mixed media paintings, and three dimensional sculptures. Quinn plans to attend the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design with a goal of becoming an art therapist. She was inspired by her experience in helping her grandmother draw and paint to cope with the stress of being ill.

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