Two Bahama Village Music Program student teachers have been selected to attend the Berklee College of Music’s Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive in Boston this July. Key West High School students Leia Bryan and Mercedes Da Silva, both incoming seniors, have received full-tuition scholarships from the Berklee City Music Network as well as grants from the Richard Crooks and Wayne Hammond Scholarship Funds to help support housing, meal plans, books, and travel expenses.
“Mercedes & Leia have dreamed of attending Berklee and we are so proud of all the hard work they have done to earn this scholarship,” says Bahama Village Music Program Director Katchen Duncan.
To prepare for the Berklee Aspire program, Bryan and Da Silva have attended weekly music theory lessons led by BVMP Board President, Berklee graduate, and world-renowned Blues guitarist Larry Baeder, ensuring they are prepared for the intensive program. In addition to teaching at the community music program that offers free lessons to children, both students play in Key West High School’s Marching, Symphonic, and Jazz Bands.
Bryan, 17, teaches guitar and piano lessons at BVMP and assists with their School of Rock class. She plays guitar, bass, ukulele, drums, piano, trumpet, French horn, and sings, has selected to focus on guitar during the 5-week performance program.
Da Silva, 17, began her piano studies at age 5 with Robin Kaplan, joined band in 7th grade and now plays all the saxophones and teaches piano lessons at BVMP. Da Silva will focus on baritone sax during her Berklee studies.
Support for Da Silva and Bryan as well as future Bahama Village Music Program students selected to attend the prestigious summer program can be made by donating to the Richard Crooks and Wayne Hammond Scholarship Funds or by making your tax-deductible donation to Bahama Village Music Program at their website BVMPKW.org (click SEND LEIA & MERCEDES TO BERKLEE), by mail at BVMP, 103 Olivia Street, Key West, FL, 33040, or by calling or stopping by their location at the foot of Olivia and Fort Street.
For more information contact BVMP Executive Director Katchen Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (305) 504-7664.