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Bison native awarded prestigious music scholarship

Published on -9/9/2012, 2:04 PM

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Steven Cornwell, Bison senior, has been awarded the $4,800 Theodore Presser Award for his accomplishments in the Fort Hays State University Department of Music and Theatre.

"The Presser award means that, between it and the rest of my scholarships, I don't have to worry much about finances for the rest of the school year, which is a huge load off my mind," Cornwell said. "I am very honored to have received it. My compositions have been performed at a number of FHSU concerts."

Cornwell is a music and theory composition major and plans to go to graduate school. During his career at FHSU, he has composed three pieces for the Spectrum Concert, two pieces for the small ensembles concert, one for the High Plains Barbershop Chorus and rearranged Thomas More Prep-Marian High School's fight song.

"After graduation, I plan to take a year off school to prepare my composition portfolio for graduate school," Cornwell said. "My dad always said that I should spend some time working at a fast food restaurant in order to convince myself that I don't want to work in a fast food restaurant for the rest of my life. I am thinking a year off might give me that chance."

Cornwell has been a part of marching band, symphonic winds, wind ensemble, concert choir, Fort Hays Singers, clarinet choir, double-reed ensemble, opera, musicals and Hays Symphony Orchestra. He also is involved in the National Association for Music Education.

"The Presser award is given to students who exemplify the best artistic, scholastic and professional standards in the Department of Music and Theatre," said Ben Cline, chairman of the department. "Cornwell has earned the achievement of being a Presser Scholar through his hard work and dedication."

The Presser Foundation's mission is to provide scholarships to promising undergraduate and graduate music education majors, encourage the study of music and aid musical programs.

The Department of Music and Theatre applies for a grant from the Presser Foundation every five years. An award from the grant is given to one junior or senior every year.

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