Each year, the Wilmington Choral Society, offers High School Seniors in the New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender County areas, an opportunity to apply for the Dave Hardee Scholarship for Vocal Performing Arts or Music Education. For the performance year of 2019-2020, we were thrilled to have two scholarship winners: Brady Leger and Zachary Burk.
Normally, we invite our winners to perform during our Spring concert. Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic made that impossible.
We wish both Brady and Zach the very best as they move forward with their vocal pursuits!
Brady Leger was the first of two recipients of the Dave Hardee Scholarship for Vocal Performing Arts or Music Education for the 2019-2020 school year. While a student at New Hanover High School, Brady exceeded academically and musically. All four years, he was a member of the New Hanover Singers, the elite group of vocal performers that has earned the school an excellent musical reputation. He became passionate about choral and classical music during his experience singing tenor in the group,
He spent high school summers attending vocal music camps at both UNC Chapel Hill and East Carolina University. He has been a member of the St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church Youth Choir, as well as the Youth Praise Team at Wrightsville United Methodist Church. He studied voice as a student of Elizabeth Field at the Field Studio.
Brady currently attends UNC Chapel Hill and is a member of the Carolina Chamber Singers Choir, embarking on a performance career in classical or operatic music. In this spare time, he enjoys surging and boating around our local islands.
Zachary Burk was our second recipient of The Dave Hardee Scholarship. He was a graduate of Wilmington Christian Academy in 2020. He has been singing in the school choir since sixth grade and competed in solo and group competitions through middle and high school, while being a student athlete.
He won the state solo competition in eighth grade and again in his freshman year of high school. During sophomore year, Zachary was the baritone in a group of six vocalists who won both state and national competitions. The same group earned second place at the national competition.
Zachary studied under the direction of Wes Rickard.
Since the fall of 2020, Zachary has continued voice lessons and has been a freshman singing with the University Singers at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He is a student athlete and plans to major in exercise science.
This scholarship goes to a high school senior who expects to continue their vocal experience in college or university. You can help!
And that's just what you're reading about on this page.
You can help!
Wilmington Choral Society Scholarship Chair Gloria Ahlberg presenting the 2019 Dave Hardee Scholarship for Vocal Performing Arts to Ana Player Murray!
Ana Player Murray is a graduating senior at New Hanover High School who has been passionate about music since she was little.
She currently studies voice with Elizabeth Field and Piano with Steve Field.
Since ninth grade, she has performed in numerous community theater productions around Wilmington. Ana Player has been a member of the St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church youth choir since seventh grade and has performed numerous solos with the choir and church.
During the summer of 2018, she was selected to attend the Schmidt Vocal Institute, which was held on Miami University’s campus in Oxford, Ohio.
Ana Player has been involved in her high school chorus since her sophomore year, acting as vice president of Hanover Singers her junior year and President her senior year. This coming summer, she
will be performing in the ensemble of Opera Wilmington’s 2019 summer production of La Bohème.
Ana Player has received a vocal scholarship to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall. She will be majoring in Vocal Performance.
She would like to give special thanks to her family, Liz Field, Steve Field, and Sharon Miller for their guidance and encouragement throughout the years and for making her dream of performing possible.
Help the chorale continue its mission to bring great choral music to the Wlmington community!
Our scholarship has been renamed in order to honor the memory of Dave Hardee who was, for many years, the President of the chorale, and a wonderful friend to us all. Since its inception, the scholarship had been called the Ralph Robbins Scholarship, as you'll see below in the descriptions of previous winners.
The Wilmington Choral Society is pleased to offer the Dave Hardee Scholarship Award to a graduating high school senior in New Hanover, Pender or Brunswick county who is an active participant in a vocal performing arts program (choir,ensemble,church choir,chorus,etc) and who plans on continuing their vocal or music education studies at the post-secondary level. The 2019 scholarship is in the amount of $1,000.00.
Applicants need not plan to major in music but they must plan to continue their study of voice or participate in the choral activities of a post-secondary institution. An audition CD of at least two minutes in length to showcase their range and ability is required.
In addition, please submit a copy of your High School Transcript and a picture of yourself - this may be used to promote both this Scholarship Program as well as the Wilmington Choral Society.
Follow the link to print the complete application. Your application package must be postmarked no later than February 12th, 2019. Email Kathy Horsmon at:
Wilmington Choral Society
c/o Kathy Horsmon
1711 South Stillwood Dr.
Leland, NC 28451
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Download in printable PDF format here:
-- Previous Scholarship Award Winners --
The 2018 Winners of our Ralph Robbins Scholarship Award are:
Nora Jean Mark
Abigale Hawkins began her vocal career at the age of five singing in her Sonshine Choir at St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church. She now sings in the Youth Choir at her church, which is centered around both music and mission work. Saint Andrew’s Covenant has graciously given Abigale numerous solo opportunities. She has been featured as a vocalist during many church services and Music on Market performances. Abigale has also been performing in various community theater shows since the age of 8. At New Hanover High School, Abigale acts as the President of Hanover Singers, which is an honors level chorus. Additionally, Abigale has performed with the North Carolina State Honors Chorus for two years and attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina last summer in Choral Music. She would like to thank her family, Liz Field, Judy Greenhut, Sharon Miller, and Cindy Litzinger for their impact and continued support in her musical endeavors. She will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall.
Nora Jeanne Mark is a graduating senior at Eugene Ashley High School who will continue her music education as a voice performance major at Florida State University with a music department scholarship. Nora currently studies voice privately with Sara Westermark and piano with Martha Hayes. She is also a member of Eugene Ashley’s Eagle Ensemble under the direction of Jennifer Sugerik. On Sunday mornings she can be found singing in the choir at St. Andrew’s On The Sound Episcopal Church under the direction of Mark Gansor. In sixth grade Nora sang in the children’s chorus of the Bronx Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel, performing at various locations in New York City. This past year Nora competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) District Level Auditions, and advanced to the regional level of competition. She is planning on attending Florida State University in the Fall.
The 2017 Winner of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards was Lucy Baker!
Lucy Baker is a graduating senior at New Hanover High School, and has studied voice with Sara Westermark since she was seven. Lucy is involved in many choral groups in the community and is currently a member of Hanover Singers, St. James Episcopal Church Choir, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir. Selected for the 2016 North Carolina Honors Chorus, Lucy has also performed as a guest soloist with the Tallis Chamber Orchestra and Opera Wilmington. Last Spring, Lucy received a superior rating at Music Performance Adjudication in New Hanover County. Throughout high school Lucy competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) District level Auditions, placing high enough to advance to the Regional Level of Competition. Last year Lucy placed second at NATS Regional Auditions, and this year she won first place. For the past two years, Lucy has been invited to participate at the National level of NATS Auditions. Lucy was awarded the Faith Courtney Burwell Voice Scholarship to attend Converse College which covers all tuition, room and board, and other expenses. She will major in Voice Performance.
The 2017 Winners of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards were:
Abigail Schilchmann and Suzette Hartsfield!
Abigail Schlictmann is a graduating senior at Ashley High School who has been actively involved in music performance and leadership throughout her years as a younger student and in High School. She has achieved Firsts at NATS and at the Mid Atlantic Regionals, and Superior Awards for three years at NCMEA's Solos/Small Ensemble Division. In musical production Abbie has had the lead role as Fiona in “Shrek the Musical” and Lucy in “You're a Good Man Charlie Brown”. She studies voice and piano at school and privately. Abbie auditioned for, and was selected to perform at Dollywood last year and received her employer's highest rating there. Abbie will major in Vocal Performance at Furman, and hopes to sing professionally and to teach voice privately, to inspire and teach the next generation of artists.
Suzette Hartsfield is a graduating senior at Laney High School who has loved singing since the 4th Grade as a participant in the N.C. Honors Chorus. Singing and music have continued to be her focus through private voice lessons. She was also selected for her HS Honors Chorus.
Congratulations to Abigail and Suzette!
The 2016 Winners of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards were:
Abigail Schlichmann and Suzette Hartsfield!
Our Scholarship Chair Gloria Ahlberg presenting the 2016 scholarship award
to Abigail Schlichmann and Suzette Hartsfield.
The 2015 Winners of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards were:
Algernon J. Robinson and Madeline Lane Lillich!
The 2014 Winner of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards was Katheryn Clair Nabel!
The 2013 Winner of our Ralph Robins Scholarship Awards was Quentin Lovette!