EASTON — Over the past 20 years, students in Talbot County have had opportunities to experience summer arts programs across the country to explore the visual, musical, performing and literary arts through the Talbot County Arts Council’s Summer Arts Scholarship Program.
These summer camps, music camps, writing workshops, and private and group lessons in art, music and writing have been critical to launching the professional careers in the arts for many Talbot County students.
Julian Brezon, who graduated from Easton High School in 2009, used his TCAC summer arts scholarships for saxophone lessons at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore.
Today, Brezon teaches private music lessons with the New York Music Cooperative, a worker-owned lessons company he co-founded, as well as after-school programs for the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He he has been hired as a performer on Virgin Voyages' new cruise line and hopes to return for a five-month contract after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided. And he recently recorded his debut album, "The Deep Light."
“I don't think I would have been able to go on to study music and become a professional musician without access to the education I was able to get thanks to the TCAC scholarships," Brezon said. "Public school band directors are typically not able to provide students with the one-on-one attention necessary to help a student develop a high level of playing. Private lessons are crucial from middle school on for any student who wants to study music at a high level.”
Brezon’s advice to high school students pursuing careers in music is to find a good teacher, or teachers, and apply themselves diligently to studying music theory, listening to challenging music and practicing several hours a day.
Over the years, Talbot County students have participated in such national and statewide programs as Parsons School of Design in New York City; Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.; Washington School of Ballet in Washington, DC.;. Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia; Tanglewood Institute of Boston University; Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga.; Stagedoor Manor in Sheldrake, N.Y.; Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington, Del.; High School Music Academy of the University of Maryland in College Park; Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.; the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City; Assisi Performing Arts Festival in Italy; Summer Intensive of Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City; Center for Fine & Performing Arts at Salisbury University; Summer Music Camp of Lebanon Valley College, Pa.; Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore; Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City; St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia; Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Opera Orchestra Workshop; Music Outreach Program at Pennsylvania State University; Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; Steel Drum Workshop at West Virginia University; Youth Fellowship Music & Arts Camp at Frostburg State University; Marching Band Camp at West Chester University; Young Writers Workshop at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.; Summer Flute Institute at Western Connecticut State University; Pre-College Design Program at Carnegie-Mellon University; and Kevin Broesler School of Irish Dance in Baltimore.
“The arts council is very committed to the spirit of these scholarships and understands that the match can be a barrier to deserving students and their ability to participate," said Joan Levy, executive director of the Talbot County Arts Council. "This year, we are working closely with other grant sponsors who have expressed a willingness to help students identify potential sources for the match.”
TCAC arts scholarships are available for Talbot County students now enrolled in the ninth, 10th, 11th or 12th grades. This is the 20th year the arts council has offered scholarships to help students with outstanding artistic promise attend advanced programs in their artistic areas.
The program is named in honor of the late Willard A. Lockwood, longtime president of the arts council, under whose guidance it was developed.
Preference in selection goes to high school students with years of demonstrated experience and excellence in their area of the arts. Program funding comes from Talbot County, and the towns of Easton, Oxford,and St. Michaels.
There is no specific dollar limit to individual grant requests, but the amount asked of the arts council must be matched dollar-for-dollar by funds from other sources. (For example, if a program costs $1,000, no more than $500 may be requested from the Arts Council.) Eligible art studies include summer arts or music camps, and art, music or literary programs, classes or private lessons.
While scholarship applications are due April 30, because of the current pandemic, extensions will be provided if students contact Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is preferred that applications be submitted electronically.
For further information on applying for the TCAC’s Summer Arts Scholarship Program, visit talbotarts.org or call 410-245-5195.