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In its fourth annual competition, Suncoast Music Scholarships awarded $20,000 to eight talented young musicians from Sarasota and Manatee counties to be used for music education expenses. The scholarship program is funded and organized through a partnership between Sarasota Music Club and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota.

The 10th grade students selected for Suncoast Music Scholarship awards of $1,000 each are: Tyler Esposito, piano, Manatee School for the Arts; and Marco Jimenez, piano, home school. The 11th grade students selected to receive $2,000 scholarship awards are: Jack Gallahan, cello, Pine View High School; and Ethan Horn, alto sax, Lakewood Ranch High School.

The four 12th grade students selected to receive scholarships are: 1st place, $5,000 – Andrea Guaita, violin, home school; 2nd place, $4,000 – Luca Stine, trumpet, home school and dual enrolled in State College of Florida; 3rd place, $3,000 – Joshua Hellberg, Bb clarinet, Braden River High School; and 4th place, $2,000 –Nadia Brooks, cello, Manatee School for the Arts. 

Andrea Guaita and Luca Stine also received Suncoast Music Scholarships in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Guaita will be attending Cedarville University to study violin performance; Stine is still considering offers from multiple institutions, including Eastman School of Music; Hellberg will study music education and cardiology at Florida Gulf Coast University; and Brooks will study cello performance at the University of Miami. The 12th grade winners performed at the Suncoast Music Scholarships Awards Luncheon, held on April 27 at Michael’s On East in Sarasota.

The 22 students who submitted scholarship applications came from eight schools, plus home school and dual enrolled in State College of Florida. In the competition, 10 music disciplines were represented. Auditions were held on April 13 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center.

Distinguished judges for this year’s competition were: 12th grade – Dr. Robyn Bell, Tom Purviance and Gayle Williams; 10th and 11th grade – Joy McIntyre and Rich Ridenour.