The Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is Isabelle McDonald, daughter of James and Deborah McDonald of Essex. Named for a founding member of Essex Winter Series, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of Valley Regional High School (VRHS) who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000. The Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.
Isabelle plans to attend Cornell University and will be auditioning for the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Chamber Orchestra. A 2018 graduate of Valley Regional High School, she has been playing the violin since age three and studied locally while also participating in the Community Music School String Ensemble, the Norwalk Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. Isabelle also participated in an Essex Winter Series master class with Emerging Artist Tessa Lark in 2016 and was the recipient of the Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award that same year. She looks forward to the opportunities ahead at Cornell, including advanced violin study and the chance to participate in their community outreach activities in elementary schools.