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Youth Orchestra Program

The KWS Volunteer Committee Youth Orchestra Scholarship History

Beginning in 1974, Geraldine Kress Schafer was the first person from the Volunteers group to give a Bursary to a player in the Youth Orchestra. Then in 1981, Pauline Morin also gave money to be presented to a worthy player in the YO. A Trust Fund was set up in 1982 by Karl Saley to present a “Bursary” to a Youth Orchestra player and Loretta Bernhardt also began one in her husband Archie’s memory. From these humble beginnings, the present day “Scholarship Program” began in 1987-88 and has continued to grow and prosper. There are now awards for each section of the KWS Youth Orchestra. The winners are chosen by a panel which includes the Scholarship Awards Convenor, the Youth Orchestra Coordinator and the conductors involved.

The Dorothy M. Elliott Music Scholarship for Performance was first awarded in 1995 to reward players who show initiative and an eagerness to learn. Dorothy favoured the Brass section however, the scholarship is open to all YO players. Dorothy passed away in September of 2009 at the age of 102.  

The Regina & Paul Robertson Memorial Scholarship, for a tuba or trombone player, was first awarded in 2008 by Laura Robertson and Steve Hornett in memory of Laura’s parents. Laura and Steve are both low brass players, and Laura’s parents were also musicians who met on stage. 

The Violet Sykes Scholarship Violet is a past chair of the Volunteer Committee. Each year, since 1986 she has donated this award. She is a dedicated supporter of the KWS, as was her late husband, Don.

The J. Fred and Marguerite Brooke Memorial Scholarships Marguerite established the J. Fred Brooke award in 1991 in memory of her husband. Both had spent many hours volunteering in support of the KWS and supported the development of the Youth Orchestra. Sadly, Marguerite passed away and we miss her smiling face at all the concerts. She generously remembered the YO in her Estate and several additional scholarships continue in her name.

The Karl Schirm Memorial Scholarship was established in 2010 by Rita Schirm, in memory of her husband, Karl. It is to be given to a deserving player in the Junior section of the YO. It is the Schirm family’s way of giving back to an organization that gave so much to them over the years.

The MacDonald Scholarship Margaret and Sandy believe that helping the young players today will encourage them to be future players and concert attendees. Their scholarship which began in 2008, is to recognise the most improved player in the Youth Strings or Sinfonia.

The R. Paul Class Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 by Carol in memory of her husband, Paul, who was a teacher and principal of elementary school students. Both were KWS Volunteers. This scholarship supports the Youth Strings.

The Freund/Hunter Memorial Scholarship: the Paulette Hunter Memorial fund started in 1989; the Art Freund Memorial began in 1990. These two funds were combined in 1994 to establish the present Scholarship to honour a dedicated early volunteer and a respected musician.

The Heather Lippert Memorial Scholarship began as a Bursary in 1973, in honour of another committed member of the Volunteer Committee, who was a former Chair and a member of the Board of Directors. This award is given every third year.

The Astrid & Vic Braun Scholarship was established in 2006 to encourage further education of young musicians. Astrid and Vic are long time supporters of the KWS and very active in the Volunteer Committee.

The Central Ontario Musicians’ Association Scholarship The COMA, Local 226, Kitchener, American Federation of Musicians, proposed this scholarship for the KWS Senior Youth Orchestra, late in 2003.  It was first given in 2004.   

The Susan & Edward Moskal ScholarshipThis scholarship was first given in 2009 in memory of Sue’s mother, Claire Gerner, who had recently passed away. In 2010, these dedicated Volunteer Committee Members decided to continue the scholarship in their own name.

The Archie Bernhardt Memorial Scholarship First begun in 1981 and formalized in its present form in 1995, this scholarship honours a self taught percussionist of the early years of the KWS and board member of the association.

The Geraldine Kress Schafer Memorial Scholarship This scholarship had its beginnings as a Bursary which Geraldine started in 1974. In 1985 a donation from her was invested and this evolved into a Scholarship. After her death in 1996, it has continued in its present name.

The Bob Wagner/Clarica Scholarship In 1992, Mutual Life of Canada (now Sun Life) honoured Bob with a cash donation to a charity of his choice and his induction into their Hall of Fame for his outstanding service to his clients. He directed the cash donation to the Youth Orchestra in the hope that this support would encourage the players to join the Symphony which he has long supported in many ways.

The Perry Michael Zehr Memorial Scholarship was established in 1996 by Marion Schweitzer in memory of Perry, a promising YO violinist. This award is managed by the Canadian Federation of University Women’s Kitchener-Waterloo Charitable Trust.

The Karl Saley Memorial Scholarship In 1982, Karl, a KWSO board member, set up a Trust Fund in memory of his son, Wolfgang. After Karl’s death in 2003, this was renamed to honour this man whose passion for music was well known

The Anne Trussler Scholarship is a new scholarship begun this year in honour of Anne, who was a dedicated, member of the KWS Volunteer Committee for more than fifty years.

The Alveretta Henderson Scholarship. This Trophy has a surprising history dating back to Alveretta’s teaching days up North. She donated the trophy to the Volunteer Committee in 1994 to be given to the most outstanding player of the year. This generous lady adds an envelope to the bowl and the lucky player’s name is engraved on the plaque.

Contact Us

Barb Kaplanek
Youth Orchestra Program Coordinator
Phone: 519.745.4711, x 390
Fax: 519.745.4474
Email: bkaplanek@kwsymphony.on.ca