The Branch County Community Foundation is proud to announce scholarships to summer music camps are available again this year through Irma L. English (ILE) Music Scholarship Fund, a charitable endowment fund administered by the Community Foundation. Students of music in Branch County will find applications for the scholarship on the Foundation’s website at www.BRCOFoundation.org or by calling 517.278.4517. Applications are due by January 29, 2016.
Upon her death, the ILE Music Scholarship Fund was created by her children to honor Irma Louise English, a lifelong Branch County resident. Besides showing their love and respect for their mother, her family wanted to offer a chance for the students to have a positive musical experience just like they did. One of Irma’s strongest passions was music, evidenced by the encouragement she gave to her children who participated in various musical activities. Because of that encouragement, some of Irma’s children were lucky enough to receive scholarships to Interlochen and Blue Lake Music Camp for two weeks during the summer break from high school.
The fund, established in the fall of 2008, has issued 26 scholarships to Branch area music students totaling $13,152.00. Former recipients have come back from camp with wonderful stories of their enhanced musical learning and their Instrumental Lifelong Experience. Volumes have been written showing the benefit of music to students. Cognitive thinking, teamwork, discipline, not to mention math, are just a few examples of ways that youth can benefit.
“Improvements are made to the application procedure each school year, making this award available to more students while adding a bit of competition to the process. Music professionals from each area of the county will also be on the selection committee along with the respective band, choir, and/or musical directors from each school,” said Colleen Knight, Branch County Community Foundation executive director.
Donations to the fund are welcomed and former Branch County residents from as far away as Alaska make annual donations in honor of Irma and the English family.
A list of summer music camps is available on the Foundation’s website as well.