by Barbara Todd
Graham Loiselle, 15, a violin student/teacher at the Belmont Youth Band has recently added to a growing number of the Band’s students who’ve won scholarships and prizes as a result of their own hard work and free weekly music lessons that the Belmont Youth Band, Inc. offers to Pensacola’s young people for the past 13 years. the past 13 years.
Graham, a 10th-grade-honor roll student at Pine Forest High School, recently won a competition sponsored by the Pensacola Music Study Club: A scholarship to the summer music camp of his choice and $1,000 cash to spend as he likes.
“I’ll probably spend it on more education,” Graham said. Just last year he won a music scholarship to Pensacola State College. But he hasn’t become blasé about his musical successes. His first thought upon winning the Music Study Club’s award was “I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to tell my Mom,” he said.
Graham’s mother, Angela Loiselle, was equally as excited as Graham about the Music Study Club’s award.
“He’s already heard from several colleges,” she said. Duke University and University of Miami have already contacted him about their music programs. “It’s never been ‘if you go to college,’” she said. “It’s always been ‘when you go to college.’”
Many studies have proved the benefits of early music training have shown that youths develop a strong sense of responsibility and usually do better academically than those who have not participated in the arts.
“They tend to deal better with new situations,” said Danny Lewis, vice president of the Belmont Youth Band, Inc.
For more information about the Band, go to: www.facebook.com/BelmontYouthBand