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Scholarship Winners 2023-2024

Coco is pleased to announce our 2023-24 Music Scholarship awardees. The scholarships are available to student musicians residing in Delmarva and attending either middle or high school, public or private.  Scholarship awards may be used for music camps, university courses, instrument purchases or repairs, or for private music lessons.  All musicians are eligible.

 

Elizabeth & Dorothy Harrigan Award

Maxwell Brown
Violin

High School Musicality Award
Gabriela Salvador-Riera

Violin

Middle School Musicality Award

Avkaash Chevli
Violin

Sussex County Council Award

Nathaniel Hoang
Piano

The annual scholarship program is just one element of Coastal Concerts’ comprehensive commitment to promoting classical music appreciation on Delmarva.  Other initiatives include school-based performances by professional concert artists; free youth and discounted student admission to concerts; free community lectures and performances; and collection of used buy playable musical instruments for donation to local schools.

 

Since the introduction of the scholarship program in 2002, 65 students have received award totaling nearly $60,000.

Meet the Winners


Maxwell Brown
Violinist
Winner of the Dorothy and Elizabeth Music Scholarship Award

 

Violinist Maxwell Brown (age 13) is a student of Brian Lewis (Austin, TX) and Timothy Schwarz (Philadelphia, PA), and studied previously with Shelley Beard Santore (Lansdowne, PA). Max has been honored to perform as a soloist with orchestras including the Ambler Symphony, Carolina Philharmonic, Chicago Arts, Delaware Youth Symphony, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, Old York Road Symphony, Rowan Strings Ensemble, and Warminster Symphony, at Carnegie Hall, Juilliard’s Paul Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and the Kimmel Center, and at institutes including Heifetz, the Ithaca College Preludio Program, and Northwestern University’s Bienen Institute. 

Max has been the Overall Winner of the Walgreens National Concerto Competition Junior Open Division, second place winner of the International Lowell Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, and a semifinalist for the International Young Artists Concerto Competition. He has won the MTNA junior division for his state, the Warminster Concerto Competition Children’s Division, and the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. For his age group, he has won the Bellagrande, Camerata, France Music, Irvine Conservatory, and Long Island Conservatory of Music competitions, among many others. He has been honored to receive Coastal Concerts, Frankel, Glotzer, and Menges awards, and to be the student performer for the ASTA Board Meeting. He was thrilled to be selected as one of 12 student artists for Juilliard's 2023 Starling-DeLay Symposium.

An avid fiddler, Max has won numerous youth and adult contests, and is a two-time youth champion of the world’s oldest and largest fiddlers convention at Galax, VA, where he also has placed 2nd in the adult contest. Max has shared the stage with renowned artists including Del McCoury and David Grisman, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Mark Schatz and Bryan McDowell, The New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters, Trout Fishing in America, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and The Beach Boys.

When he’s not making music, Max often can be found reading, drawing cartoons, horseback riding, playing soccer, and spending time with his family and friends.

Gabriela Salvador-Riera
Violinist
Winner of the High School Musicality Award

 

Gabriela Salvador-Riera is a 17-year-old vocal and strings major at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington. She is winner of the 2024 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, 2nd place laureate of the national 2023 Sphinx Competition - Junior Division, and a semi-finalist of the 2024 Sphinx Competition. She is concertmaster of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and has been a PMAY (Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth) artist since 2020. 

In 2023, she made her professional solo debut with the Erie Philharmonic and in 2024 debuted with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Later this year, she will be featured on NPR’s From the Top show number 451. Gabriela began playing violin at age six and studied with Julianne Murphy-Ruiz at the Music School of DE from 2015-2022, where she graduated from the Suzuki Academy with High Honors. Currently, she studies with Shelley Beard at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she also plays in the Advanced-Study Newman String Quartet coached by William Polk of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The ensemble won the Gold Medal in The German Society of Pennsylvania’s 2024 Bõsendorfer Youth Music Festival and have reached the quarter finals of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, junior division. They will compete for the finals this May in South Bend, IN.

Gabriela was recently featured on WRTI’s Young Artist Spotlight and on NPR during Public Radio Music Day. This summer, she will perform in Carnegie Hall with the NYO-USA (National Youth Orchestra), as well as concerts in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paolo. Last summer, Gabriela participated in Encore Chamber Music Summer Academy, as well as intensives at Julliard and CIM with Sphinx Performance Academy. She is also an alum of the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Curtis Institute, and a two-year recipient of the SPA XFactor Award. In 2022, Gabriela participated in a six-week intensive at Heifetz International Music Institute. That year, Gabriela was awarded the BMFA Springboard Grant and was named high-school winner of the Coastal Concerts Competition. Additionally, Gabriela won the 2022 Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians as well as the high school division of the 2022 Betsy L. Kent Newark Symphony Concerto Competition, soloing with Wilmington Community and Newark Symphony Orchestras, respectively.

In 2021, Gabriela was selected for the inaugural national cohort of Fortissima, an artistic and leadership development program for young women in classical music at the Colburn School in LA. She was also selected for the Chicago-Youth-in-Music Festival where she played side-by-side with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of Riccardo Muti. At Cab, Gabriela is a soprano in the high-school Vocal program, member of the 2023 Delaware All-State Treble Choir, a member of National Honor Society, 1st violin in the Cab Calloway Honors quartet, concertmaster of the select high school Chamber Orchestra, and Assistant Music Director and violinist in Cab’s musical productions of Hairspray, The Prom, and the inaugural production of Bachelor Quest: Jeopardize Your Love Life!

Avkaash Chevli
Violinist
Winner of the Middle School Musicality Award

 

Avkaash Chevli, a violinist from Hockessin, Delaware, is in seventh grade at HB DuPont Middle School. He started playing violin at the Music School of Delaware when he was two years old. At the Music School, he studies violin with Lionel Thomas, in addition to taking music theory classes.

 

Avkaash is an honor student in the school’s  Suzuki Academy. Through that program, he participates in chamber music and master classes. In the past Avkaash has participated in Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYDO) and PRYSM Strings Orchestra. This year, he is a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO).

 

During the summer, Avkaash attends a variety of summer camps to further refine his violin playing. In 2021, Avkaash was accepted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY), an organization that supports young musicians. He won the Gala Strings Concerto Competition and became soloist for the Gala Strings orchestra at the Music School.

 

Last year, he received an honorable mention in the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians and won third place in the Estella Hillersohn Frankel Scholarship. He previously won the Reflections Competition in the music composition category. In addition to violin, Avkaash plays Oboe in the advanced band at his middle school. He also plays soccer for the Delaware Football Club in U14 league.

Nathaniel Hoang
Pianist
Winner of the Sussex County Council Music Scholarship

 

Nathaniel Hoang, a tenth-grade student at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, has won the Sussex County Council Award, which is reserved for a worthy middle school or high school student in Sussex County studying music.  In Nathan’s case, piano has been his instrument of choice for the last
ten years.

“Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” says Nathan.  “I was so little when I started playing the piano that I cannot remember a time when I was not taking lessons.  At the time, I thought of it as just another fun and extra activity to do, but now, I realize it has been the longest running activity in my life so far.

Anne Chairge, his piano teacher for the last ten years, holds Nathaniel in the highest regards.  “I have had the absolute pleasure of watching him grow into a hard-working musician and responsible young man.  He is a wonderful student who always comes prepared and eager to learn and has consistently taken responsibility for his assignments and completes them in a timely fashion.”

Nathaniel chose Ritual Fire Dance by Manuel de Falla and Prelude in C-sharp Minor, by Sergei Rachmaninoff as his two contrasting musical selections for his audition.  He plans on using his award toward future lessons and piano tuning. 

Congrats to All!

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