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Kathy and Ron Maas Foundation awards scholarships to young musicians
Published: 03/14/2013 10:00:00
Ron Maas, the leader of the Thunder Mountain Big Band and a lifelong musician, along with his wife Kathy, has for the fourth year in a row awarded scholarships to four up and coming musicians to attend the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. KATH was present when he announced the scholarships to the students and he shared with us his reasons for creating his scholarship foundation.

"Where I got the idea was because I was so enthusiastic about big band music all my life, and when I got to the point on life where I could afford it I decided I wanted to help other people enjoy it as much as I did, all my life. (Scholarship Announcement) And so we developed a scholarship, every year we send four people to Sitka Fine Arts Camp and try to open their minds to big band music and hope that it'll stay with them all their lives."

We talked to the four scholarship recipients and got a feel of what the opportunity meant to them.

Jayce Wendling
"I'm really excited, I haven't been to Sitka and I hear it's really pretty there and I hope to learn more about composing music and just being a better flute player in general."

Justin Miller
"I feel like learning from someone else would help my drumming also and being around other musicians will help.

Riley Cummins
I think it's pretty cool, I've wanted to go there for a while and it's just going to be a fun experience I think, going to learn a lot.

Clay Cummins - Parent of Scholarship Recipient
We really see this camp as being a huge leap for him in terms of the people that he'll be around and the kind of instruction that he'll get, we're really thrilled about that.

Abigail Hoy
I want to be a symphony director when I grow up, and if I can't do that then I want to be a small music teacher; that's like my dream.

Maas continued with a word of encouragement to his young proteges.
"If you ever get involved with big band music it is so satisfying that you'll carry it on for the rest of your life and that's what we're trying to do is to get you guys over to Sitka in order to instill in you the love for big band music."

By: Rik Pruett -