Puyallup Student Wins Music Scholarship

Topics: music
Meaghan Austin Scholarship Winner

Meaghan Austin should be playing her clarinet solo today at a community concert to showcase her musical skills. Last February, she auditioned and won the Lovezolla 2020 Scholarship Award.

She won’t play for a live audience.

The Puyallup Valley Community Band stopped rehearsals for that concert on March 10–the same day a Skagit Valley choir made a different choice and rehearsed. Later that choir would learn that they had unknowingly spread the novel coronavirus to each other.

Because Austin cannot peform in the concert, we have chosen to record an interview with her and posted a video of her playing Canzonetta by Pierné at the Washington Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Meaghan began playing in the fourth grade and chose the clarinet, she says, because her big sister Melissa played that instrument. A student of Rogers High School, Austin is graduating and deciding whether to attend Central Washington University or the University of Idaho to major in music. Like so many other high school seniors, she is now finishing her studies from home and won’t be able to attend the ceremony planned for June 13th at the Washington State Fairgrounds.

Austin at the Western International Band Clinic in November 2019

Austin at the Western International Band Clinic in November 2019

When asked the most challenging part of playing in an ensemble like the community band, she says making music is “working together with other people without actually having to speak.”

She credits her band director Stephen Pickard and her clarinet teacher Stan Purvis for much of her success. “Without him,” she says of Purvis, “I don’t know where I’d be, honestly.”

Austin and Band Director Mr. Pickard

Austin and Band Director Mr. Pickard

When not completing her schoolwork online, she works at Julian Estates Retirement Living.

Austin may not be able to graduate in a ceremony at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, but that is definitely not stopping this 18-year-old from making music and serving her community.

About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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