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Watauga Arts Council Awards Vocal Music Scholarships to Two Local Music teachers

2015 Vocal Scholarship Award Winners Chris Watson and Lisa Combs
Watauga County Arts Council Vocal Scholarship Award Recipients Chris Watson and Lisa Combs are shown with WCAC Board President Patricia Lanno and WCAC Advisory Council Member Roland Moy.

The Watauga County Arts Council presented Vocal Music Scholarship Awards to two Watauga County Schools music teachers at its annual meeting on June 13.

While Chris Watson and Lisa Combs are both public school teachers, their applications and awards were totally different. Chris applied as a teacher representing Valle Crucis Elementary School, where he teaches music and chorus. His scholarship award will fund the licensing, music, and scripts needed for Valle Crucis School’s first full length musical play, “101 Dalmatians Kids”.   Chris wrote in his application, “Putting on such a production will bring to life the magic of stage for all students at Valle Crucis School. Participation in this play will be open to students of all ages and is sure to be an amazing experience for it will include singing, dancing, acting, comedy, and fun for all! Such an amazing event, without question, will be a transformative arts experience for the students of Valle Crucis School.”

Lisa Combs has been teaching in Watauga County Schools for 27 years and currently teaches chorus at Watauga High School. The professional association for public school music teachers is called National Association of Music Educators (NAME). While Lisa has been able to attend state conferences for NAME, she has never been able to attend the national conferences. However this fall the national conference is taking place in Nashville, TN and with the scholarship award, Lisa will be able to attend. Lisa’s application read, “The conference will include opportunities for me to listen to amazing choirs, go to reading sessions to pick out new music for my students, learn from nationally known choral conductors, and attend seminars for music educators. I plan to return to my classroom with lots of new curriculum and a renewed spirit.”

The Watauga County Arts Council is very pleased to be able to honor these two educators in this way. Funding for the Vocal Music Scholarship Program comes from an annual event called “Celebrate Singing” each fall. This event, the brainchild of Dr. Roland Moy (a member of the WCAC Advisory Council who himself is a seasoned barbershop singer featured in The Mountainaires Quartet as well as Triad Harmony and several other singing groups) showcases different types of singers and different styles of singing. Music teachers are encouraged to bring their students to perform and to listen to other groups at this event and it is also greatly enjoyed by the public. The event is free, but donations are accepted.   The next Celebrate Singing is tentatively planned for Saturday, November 21. Additional funding for the Vocal Music Scholarship Program comes from private donations.

To contribute to the Scholarship Programs of the WCAC or to simply learn more about them, contact the Arts Council at 828-264-1789.