The Lee Mitchell Scholarships began with an endowment from the family of the late Lee Mitchell, internationally-renowned pianist and composer with whom the Southern Delaware Chorale (then the Southern Delaware Choral Society) enjoyed a collaborative relationship. For over 20 years the scholarship award has advanced the cause of music and the arts among high school students in Sussex County. The recipients receive a year of private voice lessons, participate in the Choral Society’s concert season and are provided with performance attire. Here are the five recipients chosen for the 2016-2017 Season.
Natalie Atkinson is a senior at Sussex Central High School. She began her journey as a choir member in 4th grade and continued throughout middle school and high school. Natalie was an All-State Choir member in high school and participates in Sussex Central Drama Club performing in musicals. She aspires to attend Westminster Choir College in New Jersey to become a professional vocal performer with a focus in opera.
Eryk Bluto is a junior at Sussex Technical High School studying Media Broadcasting. He is very involved in the Concert Choir and Chamber ensembles as well as the Drama Club at his school. Eryk was in All-State Choir in seventh and eighth grade. He finds singing an escape to a whole different world where he can do anything if he puts his mind to it.
Leon DeShields is a senior at Laurel Senior High School. He is head section leader and student director during all performances of the Concert Choir and small group ensembles. Leon has been the lead in every shool musical since the 7th grade and has participated in the Delaware All-State Chorus and Maryland's All-State Chorus and All-State Choir. He aspires to be on Broadway and attend America's Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.
Lauren Mahetta, a senior at Sussex Technical High School, was a Lee Mitchell Scholarship recipient last season. She has been heavily involved in singing since going to Southern Delaware School of the Arts. There she was introduced to Show Choir and All-State Chorus. At Sussex Tech Lauren continued with All-State and joined the school’s Concert Choir, Bella Voce and the Chamber Ensemble. She hopes to pursue music education in college.
Abby Thornberg is a senior at Sussex Technical High School. She participates in the school’s Concert Choir, Bella Voce and the Chamber Ensemble. She attended the University of Delaware's Governor’s School for Excellence for singing, and has been involved with Delaware All-State Chorus. Abby is excited to have the opportunity to sing with Southern Delaware Chorale.