At its season finale concert this month, the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra (WCYO) awarded a $1,000 college scholarship to Ridgefield High School senior, violinist Matthew Uy.
The scholarship is funded by parents of WCYO musicians, its Board of Directors, and staff and is awarded based on an essay related to the experience of being a musician. Judged by its Board of Directors, this year’s WCYO essay focussed on the role of the musician in contemporary society.
In an essay entitled “The Empathy Within Song,” Matthew sees the role of a musician as key to “forging emotional connections” between the composers and the audience and a potential force for good. He wrote, “In a time in which our feelings of loneliness, division and judgement are at their worst, music has the power to develop empathy among us.”
“WCYO's mission includes a commitment to provide youth musicians an opportunity to develop character and grow as people through music. Matthew’s essay embodies exactly that. Please join us in congratulating him on this award and his many achievements,” shared Ruth Feldman, Executive Director of WCYO.
Matthew was assistant concertmaster of the WCYO Symphony Orchestra during the 2022-2023 Season, performed in the Charles Ives Music Festival (CIMF at WCYO) Chamber Music Intensive and will attend the CIMF summer program. As a senior at Ridgefield High School, he is a student of music educator Michael McNamara, and assistant concertmaster of the RHS Symphonic Orchestra. His private music teacher is Mallory Mercier. This fall he will begin college at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra is 501C3 non-profit based in Ridgefield, CT serving area youth musicians from more than 20 towns in the surrounding Connecticut and New York communities with advanced education programs in large ensemble and chamber music performance. WCYO also presents a professional chamber concert series as part of its Charles Ives Music Festival program. To learn more about the WCYO or to schedule an audition for its 2023-2024 season, please visit wctyo.org or call 203-894-8786.
Photo: WCYO Music Director Eric Mahl and Matthew Uy.