Handel and Haydn Announces Vocal Scholarship Winners

Handel and Haydn Announces Vocal Scholarship Winners

The Handel and Haydn Society Education Outreach Program has announced the winners of this year's scholarship awards. Each spring, H+H presents three prizes to local high school and college students. This year's winners are Jessica Toupin of Dracut, Mass.; Jenna Lorusso of Acton, Mass.; and Andrew Milne of Westborough, Mass.

Jessica Toupin receives Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award

The Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award of $1,500 is presented to a graduating high school soloist who intends to continue his or her musical studies in college. The award was established in 2001 in loving memory of Candace Achtmeyer, a member of the Handel and Haydn Society Board from 1993-2001 and a member of the Education Committee, where she voiced passionate opinions about H+H's responsibility to the community and children.

Jessica Toupin has been singing soprano in H+H's Young Women's Chorus since her sophomore year in high school and in the Soloist program during her senior year. Of her H+H experience, Jessica says, "It was in the choral room at Boston Latin where I discovered the power of choral music, and it was in my lessons at New England Conservatory Preparatory School where I fell in love with composers like Bellini and Fauré, and thought to myself, 'This is it, I want to have a career in the world of music.'" In the fall, Jessica plans on enrolling in the undergraduate program at University of Massachusetts/Amherst Commonwealth College where she will double major in vocal performance and music business or mathematics.

Jenna Lorusso receives Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence

The Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence extends H+H's support to an outstanding high school soloist alumnus/a who has pursued further musical studies and professional performance with an award of $2,000. The award is named in honor of Handel and Haydn Society Governor Barbara E. Maze, who served on the board from 1993-2009 and was instrumental in creating the Vocal Arts Program (VAP). For 40 years, she was an assistant dean of student affairs at Boston University where she influenced many students in their pursuit of professional music careers.

Jenna Lorusso graduated from Westminster Choir College of Ryder University this May where she pursued a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. During her tenure at Westminster Choir College, she sang in the chorus for Westminster Opera Theatre's production of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. This past fall, she covered the role of Madam Silberklang in Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor, her first full operatic role. Her senior year capstone project was a lecture-recital on the Spanish influence on French and German song. In the fall, Jenna will continue to pursue voice studies at the graduate level.

Andrew Milne receives Evangelyna Etienne Award

The Evangelyna Etienne Award provides a $500 award to a current or former VAP student age 16-24 who plans to continue vocal training at the college level. The award was created in memory of VAP alumna and two-time scholarship winner Evangelyna Etienne who passed away in September 2011 after battling a terminal illness. Through her commitment and passion for vocal music, Evangelyna displayed a generosity of spirit and an ability to inspire.

Andrew Milne is enrolled in the undergraduate program at the SUNY Fredonia School of Music, where he is majoring in music education and choral-vocal studies. Upon his anticipated graduation in 2015, Andrew plans on pursuing a career as a middle school or high school music educator. His graduate study plans include seeking a master's degree in choral conducting. An Eagle Scout, he spends his summers at Cub Adventure Day Camp in Bolton, Mass., where he is program director. In addition, he will be starting a community chorus in his hometown for anyone who is interested in singing, regardless of age and ability. "The music program and the people in Westborough have given me so much over the years, and I want to give something back to them all in the best way I know how," he says.