By TRAVIS MORSE email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — Two Mt. Vernon Township High School seniors have been awarded partial tuition music scholarships to attend universities in the fall.
The students, Quentin Loyd and Nathan Arnold, are very active in the MVTHS music program and plan to pursue careers in the musical arts. They graduate in May.
“They’re just wonderful young people. We’re extremely proud of them,” said MVTHS Band Director Nick Loafman. “They’ve done great work for us all four years and we think they’re going to go on to have really successful careers.”
Loyd received a scholarship to attend the Northern Illinois
University School of Music. It will cover part of his tuition for all four years.
To get the scholarship, Loyd had to audition for an NIU professor.
“I plan on going for music education and jazz studies and with that I will get my master’s in music education and then doctorate in music education as well,” Loyd said.
Loyd added that after college he wants to either teach at a university or open up his own music school. The scholarship, he said, is definitely a big help.
“Money’s hard to come by for school anywhere these days, and it’s definitely great to have any type of money coming at you for school,” Loyd said. “It’s an honor to have that scholarship.”
Arnold was awarded a total of four partial tuition scholarships, including three for music and one for academics. He will attend Murray State University in Murray, Ky., this fall.
Arnold also had to audition for his college. He would eventually like to be a musical artist or perform in musical theater.
Both Loyd and Arnold said they were greatly inspired by the music faculty at MVTHS, including Loafman, Orchestra Director Rolland Mays and Choral Director Julie Prince.
“I’ve grown up in music and Mr. Mays, Mr. Loafman and Miss Prince have definitely all influenced me on the choices I make with my career and my life,” Loyd said. “Definitely, Mr. Mays has inspired me to try to be as good as he is and be as good a person as he is.”
Arnold said Prince has taught him “pretty much everything” he knows.
“My time here has pretty much made me, made me ready for my college audition,” Arnold said.
Loafman said he wants to encourage the parents of younger students to look into music scholarships as a real possibility for their children.
“Most people just think about athletic scholarships and really music scholarships are just as plentiful and easy to get, if not easier to get, than athletic scholarships,” Loafman said. “So I kind of want to raise awareness of that.”
Mays said he hopes the examples set by Loyd and Arnold will inspire other students to excel.
“First of all, they’re talented and both of them have earned the scholarships to their respective schools,” Mays said. “And I think with the publicity, we would maybe encourage other students to just work a little bit harder and to practice.”