The Betty F. Brown Awards for Instrumental Excellence and Anna Newell Brown Awards for Vocal Excellence Competition, organized by Heritage Fund: the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, will be Saturday, Feb. 9, at First Christian Church.
The instrumental competition begins at 8 a.m., and the vocal competition will start at 1 p.m. For the first time, both competitions will be in the church’s sanctuary.
The event is free and open to the public.
Fifty-five local high school musicians are registered to perform in underclassmen and senior competitions.
First-, second-, and third-place winners will earn up to a total of $15,000 in college scholarships from the senior competitions. Underclassmen will compete for a total of $6,000 in scholarships to pay for private music lessons and music camps.
Instrumental judges will be Susan Chan, violist of New Century String Quartet and adjunct faculty at University of Indianapolis; Dr. Ray Kilburn, Associate Professor of Music, Piano at Ball State University; and Shawn Goodman, adjunct instructor of clarinet at Butler University School of Music and conductor and president of Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis.
Vocal judges are Dr. Kathleen Hacker, chair of the music department and director of vocal studies at University of Indianapolis; and Dr. Thomas Studebaker, assistant professor of voice at Butler University; and Dr. Robin Smith, adjunct professor of voice and English diction at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
The vocal competition was established in 1985 by Robert N. and Betty F. Brown in memory of Robert’s mother, Anna Newell Brown, who was a distinguished vocalist and who contributed to Bartholomew County’s cultural life.
Robert N. Brown was the long-time chairman of Home News Enterprises, The Republic’s parent company. He also served as chairman of the Heritage Fund Board from 1980 to 1983, during which the foundation awarded its first grant – a $500 award for the Art in Public Places Program.
The Betty F. Brown Awards for Instrumental Excellence was established in 1991 by Robert in memory of his wife. She was an active member of the arts community in Columbus and statewide.