LANGHORNE >> Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre awarded scholarship grants totaling $4,500 to four recent graduates of Neshaminy High School who are planning to study the performing arts in college this fall. The four recipients from the Class of 2019, are Olivia Andrews of Levittown, Emily Kirsch of Langhorne, Brielle Lewandowski of Feasterville, and Wyatt Mellus of Langhorne.
Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre (NVMT) is a nonprofit scholarship organization offering competitive grants since its founding in 1956 to students graduating from the Neshaminy School District and planning to study the fine and performing arts in college. The organization mounts an annual musical, this past year presenting My Fair Lady, the proceeds from which go into a scholarship fund. Generous donors have also contributed to build the fund. To date, NVMT has awarded over $154,500 in scholarships.
“NVMT’s scholarship grant program has been one of the most positive and rewarding forces behind the success of our theatre group for more than a half century,” stated Tom Urquhart, president of the organization. “While we strive for excellence in our stage productions, it is always with the objective of providing funds for our scholarship grants in order to support deserving young people such as these in their quest to achieve their dreams. We’ve been most proud of our recipients and truly happy to have been able to help them!”
The NVMT scholarships were announced at Neshaminy’s Class of 2019 senior awards night held on May 30.
Olivia Andrews received support from NVMT through the Evelyn McLean Memorial Scholarship Fund. In addition to being in the top quarter of her graduating class and a member of the National Honor Society, she has been an active member of the Neshaminy High School Drama Leadership Board, the Pennsylvania Thespian Troupe and Leadership Workshop, and a team leader in the American Cancer Society’s Roadies for a Cure. She has performed at the Pennsylvania and International Thespian Festivals, the Bucks County Playhouse, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Select Choir, and was a finalist at the New York City Dance Alliance competition. She will attend Syracuse University in the Honors Program as a musical theater major and plans a career in the performing arts.
Emily Kirsch received support from NVMT’s George W. Kinsley IV Memorial Fund for Students of the Woodwind Instruments. She is a straight-A student who has been a member of the Neshaminy High School Wind Ensemble, Symphony Strings, Orchestra, Concert Choir and Select Choir, and the school’s musicals, and served as both a section leader and drum major in the high school’s Marching Band. She has also been involved in the Bucks County Music Educators Association band and Neshaminy Summer Stock Theater. She will be attending Susquehanna University in the fall majoring in music education with a minor in theater.
Brielle Lewandowski received support through NVMT’s Dotti Gelenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund. A member of the National Honor Society, she has been involved since her freshman year in the high school’s auditioned Drama Club and Select Choir, and participated in the school’s musical productions. She was selected to perform as a soloist at the 2018 International Thespian Society. She will attend DeSales Unversity in the fall majoring in theater with a concentration in musical theater with plans to pursue a career in theater.
Wyatt Mellusreceived support from NVMT through the Joseph J. McGlade Scholarship Fund. At Neshaminy he is a member of the National Honor Society and has been an active member of the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Band, String Quartet, and Marching Band, where he served as a section leader and was elected vice-president, and performed in the orchestra pit for the school’s musicals. He was selected by audition for the Bucks County Music Educators Association Band in grades 10 through 12, was awarded the Outstanding Marching Award twice, and is a member of the Cadets 2 Drum Corps. In the fall he will pursue a degree in music history at Temple University with hopes of going on to pursue a graduate degree and doctorate in ethnomusicology. He is looking forward to a career as a researcher, college-level educator or music journalist.
NVMT is the recipient of six International Music and Entertainment Association Awards. All the participants on stage and behind the scenes are volunteers. The company will announce it 2020 production later this summer, which will be performed in the spring.
The application process for 2020 scholarships, open to graduating seniors of Neshaminy High School, will be available next spring.