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Bay Music Foundation Scholarship Competition 2016

Foundation Hosts Students For Competition and Showcase

February 22, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Introducing The Bay Music Foundation
Bay City Times, Oct 18, 1959
On October 18, 1959, the Sunday edition of the Bay City Times said "This will introduce to you the Bay Music Foundation, a non-profit corporation recently organized for the purpose of raising funds and awarding them to worthy Bay County music students for annual summer scholarships to the National Music camp at Interlochen and to other music study sessions as determined by the governing board of this Foundation. The first contest will be held in January or February of 1960."

Now, 56 years later, the Bay Music Foundation held it most recent competition at St. Boniface Church on Saturday morning. Young musicians performed before professional judges for the chance to win scholarships, awards, and for the judges comments and advice. The winners returned that afternoon to perform in the annual "Competitor's Showcase".

The Bay Music Foundation continues a long tradition of encouraging youth to become a part of the arts community. In those formative years, the Foundation was very involved in the creation of the National Music camp at Interlochen. In the years since it has evolved so that the scholarships and cash prizes, once limited to summer study, now extend to music, instruments, and college tuition. Winners have used their awards for all these purposes as well as for summer study at camps such as Herter Music's camp to CMU, Blue Lakes, and Interlochen.

Membership card from 1960-61
Competition is divided into divisions and categories. Students compete in Piano, Instrumental, Voice and Musical Theater categories. Within the divisions the categories are intermediate (grades 6 to 8), senior (grades 9 to 12) and advanced (students who have previously won at the senior level). A first and second place is possible, but not guaranteed, in each of these divisions and categories. Honorable mentions may be awarded.

Competition is open to all Intermediate and High School students who live or study in the Bay County area. Judges are selected by the Foundation's Competition Committee from a pool of professional musicians and teachers from the local area, neighboring towns, and Universities.

Scholarships are largely funded by the contributions of members. The Foundation is completely run by volunteers from the community. Special awards for outstanding performances have been named in honor of well-known local musicians. The "Tony Rongo Honors Award" recognizes instrumental excellence. The "Robert Story Honor Award" is given to vocalists. The "Jim Hill Piano Scholarship" recognizes students of the piano.

The Saturday competition was held at St. Boniface Church. In the past, a "Winners Showcase" was held the following day. This year the showcase was held the afternoon of the competition giving the students the opportunity to perform for their peers as well as their parents, relatives, and friends.

Each Spring the Foundation presents a "Celebration Of The Arts" program at the State Theater. Winners from the past are invited to provide musical performances giving the audience and supporters the chance to see how they have advanced. The Foundation also uses this occasion to present the "Peggy Rowley Award" to a person who has made "outstanding contributions to the arts and music in the Bay County".

The Bay Music Foundation is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting music study. Besides the annual competition, the foundation holds workshops and master classes. Scholarship funds come from contributions of members and from sponsoring organizations and individuals. Bay Music Foundation is an all volunteer organization which grants the majority of its funds to scholarships.

Highlights from 1964
1964 letter from Doug Webster thanking the Foundation for helping fund his study at Interlochen.

The Bay Music Foundation Extends Special Thanks to:
St. Boniface Church and Staff
Herter Music Center
The Bay City Players
The State Theatre
And to our many financial supporters!

Scholarship Sponsors are
Instrumental - Herter Music Center
Musical Theater - Bay City Players
Piano - Donna and Mike Bacigalupo

For more information visit

Bay Music Foundation Winners
Class of 2015

Abigail Grossmeyer
1st Place (tied) Senior Instrumental - Flute

Aaron Rajewski
1st Place (tied) Senior Instrumental - Saxaphone

Emily Buck
2nd Place Imtermediate Voice

Madeline Paxson
1st Place Senior Musical Theater

Kira Cushway
Honorable Mention - Senio Voice

Maggie Berner
Honorable Mention - Senio Voice

Morgan Steele
2nd Place - Senior Voice

1st Place - Intermediate Instrumental

Katie Mervyn - 1st Place - Senior Piano

Links to Bay Music Foundation Stories

2017 Competition
2016 Competition
2015 Competition
2014 Competition
2013 Competition
2012 Competition
2011 Competition
2011 Celebration of the Arts
2011 Competition
2010 Celebration of the Arts
2010 Competition

2009 Celebration of the Arts
2009 Competition
2008 Competition
2007 Competition
2006 Bay Concert Assn. Donation
2006 Competition
2004 Competition Announcement
2003 Competition
2003 Competition Announcement

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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