Eight area students awarded Pro Musica of Ogdensburg scholarships
Friday, July 14, 2017 - 8:45 am

OGDENSBURG -- Pro Musica Chorus of Ogdensburg is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its founding with the announcement of the recipients of its 2017 50th Anniversary scholarships.

To mark this significant year, they offered two $100 scholarships to each of five area schools. The graduating seniors were recommended by the choral music teachers at Ogdensburg Free Academy, Heuvelton Central School, Lisbon Central School, Madrid-Waddington Central School and Morristown Central School.

All of these talented seniors have excelled in the arts, music and theater in addition to academics during their high school careers.

The scholarships were given to seniors Brandon Bogart, Frankie Jo Besio, Collin Trathen, Cheyenne White, Joshua Barkley, Bethany Socia and Miranda Ditta, who have all excelled in choral music at their high schools, in the view of the Pro Musica Chorus and their instructors.

OFA graduate, Brandon Bogart will attend Clarkson University to study computer engineering. SUNY Canton is the destination for Heuvelton Central School recipients Frankie Jo Besio and Collin Trathen. Besio will major in criminal justice, and Trathen is taking up engineering. Theatre studies at SUNY Potsdam is the choice of Cheyenne White of Lisbon Central School. Madrid-Waddington Central School selected Joshua Barkley and Bethany Sochia. Barkley will attend The Crane School of Music with a concentration in music business. Sochia plans to study liberal arts at SUNY Potsdam. The recipient from Morristown Central School, Miranda Ditta, will major in childhood education at Jefferson Community College.

A scholarship is awarded annually at Ogdensburg Free Academy in memory of Sally Bibbens, who co-founded the Ogdensburg chorus in 1967 and directed the group for many years. Her goal was to offer the community the pleasure of choral music and the opportunity to enjoy music by singing together. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who has shown excellence in choral music during his or her high school years. The 2017 recipient of the Bibbens Scholarship is Connor Banning, who will pursue a career in animation and illustration at SUNY Fredonia.

Pro Musica also encourages elementary age children to participate in choral music. Recent concerts have included about 15 talented young singers from the city elementary schools who were chosen by their music teachers. The children have sung with the chorus at the annual Christmas and spring concerts since 2014 and will be invited to participate in the 2017 Christmas concert. The children’s numbers are an audience favorite.

It is the hope of Pro Musica of Ogdensburg that the scholarship recipients and the other young singers will become future members of the chorus or will join a choral group in the communities where they live.

Funds for the scholarships are raised from member dues and proceeds from the annual spring and Christmas concerts. The fall session in preparation for the 50th Annual Christmas Concert will begin in September.

New members are always welcome. For more information about Pro Musica, call Beth Leroux at 393-4190.