Music & More Youth Scholarships

Three or four $500 Youth Music Scholarships are awarded each summer at the Season Finale Concert.  Past recipients include Andrea Nitz, violin; Evelyn Alumbreros, vocal; Megan Griffith, vocal & piano; Annli Nakayama, violin; Nick Daly, vocal; Benjamin Nelson, piano; Noah Mercadillo, cello; Kai Nakayama, dance; Gabriella Martinez, violin; Ashley Springer, violin; Lydia Weaver, violin; and Alex Cope, xylophone.

Our 2023 winners are listed below.  Congratulations to the four of them!

Randall K. Bush Youth Music Scholarship

Rev. Bush started the Music & More Concert Series in 1994 as a way to showcase area talent—as well as the church and Downtown Racine—while raising money for worthwhile causes. Five free concerts were offered in the church’s historic sanctuary the first year. In 30 years, the series has grown and now features ten weekly noontime concerts, two lawn concerts, and a holiday concert in December. The noontime series concludes mid-August with a grand finale evening concert.

The 2023 summer season featured 180 musicians performing solo, duets, trios, and in ensembles of all sizes. Variety has been the key to Music & More's success and each concert includes different musical styles and genres.

Music & More’s tradition of helping those in need, through the audience’s donations to the freewill offerings, continues. Over the years, many thousands of dollars have been returned to the local community to support the work of various social service agencies. A youth music scholarship was established in his honor in 2013. Donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, for Music & More/Randall Bush Youth Music Scholarship.

2023 Winner - Alexandra Nechyporenko

Alexandra will be entering 10th grade at Walden III High School. She is 15 years old and has been playing the piano for ten years, currently a student of Anna Kojovic-Frodl. Alexandra is excited to share her music and spread her love for piano.

Mearl Mahl Youth Music Scholarship

Mearl Mahl worked at SC Johnson for 32 years as a microbiologist. He was a very active volunteer at First Presbyterian and in the community. He served as a Deacon at First Presbyterian and also helped with the Music & More program for several years. Mearl was always willing to offer a hand wherever it was needed!

To honor his memory, the Deacon Board started the Mearl Mahl Youth Music Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made out to First Presbyterian Church, for Music & More/Mearl Mahl Youth Music Scholarship Fund.

2023 Winner - Lucas Alumbreros

2023 Winner - Lucas Alumbreros

Lucas is a rising sophomore at Indian Trail High School where he sings in Chorale and performed scenes from Beetlejuice and Trevor, the Musical at the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University.

Mia Guion Youth Music Scholarship

Mia Guion tragically lost her life as the result of an automobile accident on June 8, 2018. The youngest of three sisters, Mia was born on November 13, 1994, to Edward Guion and Camille “Kim” Jensen-Guion. She attended Jefferson Lighthouse and The Prairie School, graduating in 2013. While at Prairie, she was involved in track, cross country, theatre & music, and played the violin & viola. Mia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Iowa State University with a minor in Business, graduating in 2017.

At Iowa State, Mia was active in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She was also a Washington Media Scholar and was awarded 1st Place in the 2017 Media Plan Case Competition, which took place in Washington, D.C. and was featured in the Washington Post. Outside of school and work, Mia enjoyed country music, spending time with her sisters, caring for her dog Rizzo, painting artwork, going for long runs, and being at the Burlington family cottage on Bohners Lake. Her warmth, bright smile, infectious laugh, gentleness, strength, sense of humor, and kind spirit will live on in all of the hearts and lives she touched.

A youth music scholarship fund was set up in her memory in 2018. Donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, for Music & More/Mia Guion Youth Music Scholarship Fund.

2023 Winner - Nolan Boerner

Nolan is a recently graduated senior from the The Prairie School in Wind Point, Wisconsin. He has been playing the cello for eleven years. Nolan was a part of his school’s symphonic orchestra, jazz band, and pit orchestra for musicals. Nolan often travels to Milwaukee, too, where he has been a part of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) for 4 years and is currently the principal cellist in the Senior Symphony and a member of the MYSO’s flagship quartet. Also in Milwaukee, Nolan is a leading member of the Cello Choir, I Cellisti.

Nolan has competed in the Wisconsin School Music Associations’ (WSMA) State Solo and Ensemble competition every year since sixth grade, receiving exemplary recognition three times. He has also participated in the State WSMA Honors Orchestra for the last 5 years, being principal cellist for 3 of those years, most recently in 2022. Nolan was honored to be the winner of the Racine Symphony Orchestra Young Artists’ Competition in 2021, the winner of the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra Young Artists’ Competition in 2022, one of the winners of the Milwaukee Civic Concerto Competition in 2022, and one of the honorable mentions in the MSO Stars of Tomorrow Concerto Competition in 2023.

In his spare time, Nolan can be found busking in downtown Racine on the first Friday of each month playing for all of the passersby as well as performing at hired gigs in the greater Racine area. When Nolan is not listening to or practicing the cello, he is often running and has been a State qualifier in Cross Country for the last three seasons and a State qualifier in Track for the 2022 season. Nolan will be attending Vanderbilt University to study Physics and Mathematics. However, music will remain a constant part of his life.

2023 Winner - Lydia Morency

Lydia was the winner of the Racine Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition this year. She performed the Marcello Oboe Concerto in C Minor with the orchestra at the May 2023 concert. Lydia is a sophomore at Germantown High School. She has been playing oboe for five years and studies with Suzanne Geoffrey.

Lydia is very active in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), having performed in nine different ensembles over the past three years.  She will be going on an international tour with the MYSO Senior Symphony in late July. She participates in the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Solo and Ensemble Music Festivals at the district and state levels, as well as the WSMA State Honors Projects. She received honorable mentions in two MYSO concerto competitions and has been nominated for a WSMA State Music Festival Exemplary Performance Recognition award.

When not playing the oboe or studying, Lydia plays percussion in her high school marching band and is an active member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and Yearbook Club.