The winners of the Caribbean Music Club scholarships for 2011 were announced at the end of May by club president Arlene Weyrick and scholarship chair Jean Welsh. The winners are Brenda Warger, Grace Sievert, Pio Molina and Anthony Rueda.
After an audition in March, the students were selected by a panel of judges including pianist and vocalist Sally Ford and Janet Nelson, according to Pat Tiemeyer, who has been involved with club programs and publicity for almost 40 years.
“The winners performed at the Cutler Bay home of Dottie Simon surrounded by a huge crowd of family, friends and club members,” Tiemeyer said. “This group of extremely talented young musicians was introduced by Jean Welsh, scholarship chairman. After the performances, Mrs. Welsh presented each of the winners with a scholarship check to be used to further their music education. The club congratulates these outstanding students who live in Miami, Palmetto Bay and Homestead.”
Brenda Warger, 16, is a pianist. She is the daughter of Fiorella and Vincent Warger and attends Miami Palmetto High School. Her teacher is Kassandra Bottini. Warger played a beautiful rendition of The Apartmentby Charles Williams.
Grace Sievert, 12, also is a pianist and the daughter of Allison Jara and Lucas Sievert. She attends Southwood Middle School, where her teacher is Sandra Davis. Sievert is a Homestead resident and as the youngest performer she astounded the audience with her dexterity in playing Sonata No.1 in C K545 1st Movementby Mozart.
Pio Molina, 17, is a violist. He is the son of Kathryn and Pio Molina and attends Coral Reef High School. His teacher is Guangshu Song. Molina played Sonata No.1 in G minor by Bach, a difficult piece but reportedly played with such poise and professionalism that he made it look easy.
Anthony Rueda, 15, is a pianist and the son of Elvira Tones and Carlos Rueda. He attends Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, where his teacher is Dr. Adam Alesander. Anthony played the Ballade No.3 in A flat op.47 by Chopin and amazed the audience with his extraordinary finger work.
Sadly, the club, known for its goal of encouraging music students with scholarships and bringing music into other’s lives, will be giving no more awards.
“After 49 years, the Caribbean Music Club is closing this chapter as the southernmost national music club in America,” Tiemeyer said. “The club has distributed thousands of dollars in scholarships to more than 200 of South Miami- Dade County students and has watched as many of them became successful in music careers. It is hopeful that some of these promising musicians and other music lovers would step forward to begin the second chapter of this club.”
Students interested in competing for scholarships next year can participate in the South Miami Music Club’s auditions.