To have not one, but two Philharmonic Association members receive UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Music Scholarship this year brings immense joy to the staff of this organization.  It is our dream to see each of our musicians pursue their passions with excellence both before and after graduation–it is why we do what we do. Join us in congratulating violinist Frances Norton on being awarded the Kenan Music Scholarship!  

The Kenan Music Scholarship is a premier scholarship of the UNC Chapel Hill Department of Music, awarded to 4 incoming students each year. This award consists of four-year full-tuition scholarship (including student fees, room, and board) and a $6,000 stipend for musical enrichment.  This year, over 200 individuals applied and participated in the first round of the scholarship audition.  The finalists selected from the first round of auditions go on to attend a weekend event where they not only audition again, but interview, and meet faculty, current students, and other finalists.  Although Frances described herself as “pretty nervous” going into this final weekend, she discovered that “the faculty and current UNC students were so supportive and welcoming” that she “forgot to be worried.”  In fact, Frances left the audition weekend feeling “more encouraged about college and all of the unknowns of the upcoming year.”

If participating in the auditions and interviews was a positive experience for Frances, discovering a few days later that she had won was an even more joyous and defining moment.  Frances said that she was overwhelmed with gratitude and could barely breathe when she got the good news.  She writes, “Knowing that tuition would be a huge factor in my college decision, I felt especially relieved that I had an option that covered that need.”  Frances expressed her gratitude to her family members and instructors who helped her reach this achievement by stating that they were equally deserving of an award. 

When asked about her experience in the Philharmonic Association, Frances credited the organization with offering a supportive musical environment that helped grow her as a musician and pushed her to excel beyond what she thought were her capabilities.  The Philharmonic Association is grateful to have been able to work with Frances for the three years that she participated in the Triangle Youth Philharmonic.  We are immensely proud of her accomplishment and can’t wait to see what she achieves at UNC Chapel Hill as a Kenan Music Scholar!