Local Youths Win Music Scholarships

Justin Veatch Fund Awards 7 Scholarships in June 7th awards program

Graduating high school seniors from seven high schools were honored on Friday, June 7th at Yorktown’s Town Hall when The Justin Veatch Fund presented each of them with a $1,000 music scholarship. The 6pm program will included a keynote address from Mark Barden of Sandy Hook Promise and was attended by NY Senator Peter Harckham and Yorktown Supervisor Ilan Gilbert. The public was invited.
The 2019 recipients were Kathryn Czerwinski of Peekskill High School, Francis Fedora of Croton-Harmon HIgh School, Edward Fiscella of North Salem High School, Scott Murdock of John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Michael Sottile of Mahopac High School, Stephanie Tateiwa of Harrison High School and Kian Tortorello-Allen of Fox Lane High School. 
Scholarships began in 2009
The Justin Veatch Fund Music Scholarships honor the legacy of Justin Veatch, a Yorktown High School senior who died from an accidental drug overdose in 2008. The 2019 awards bring to 42 the number of $1,000 scholarships awarded by The Fund since it began the award in 2009.  “This year we had twenty applications for six planned awards,” says Jeffrey Veatch, President of The Fund and Justin’s father.  “Our scholarship awards committee had a tie in voting for the sixth recipient, so we decided we would award a seventh this year.” One of the awards will be dedicated to the memory of former Yorktown Supervisor Al Capellini.  Also new this year, is the fact that five of the awards have been fully sponsored.  Those sponsors are the Yorktown Small Business Association, Tricy Cushner & family, Alan & Ellen Marzelli, Graham Keenan & family and the law offices of Joseph J. Tock. Each sponsor is invited to attend the awards program and will be presented with a framed photo of the metronome award that will include their names on the inscription.

Scott Murdock is graduating from John F. Kennedy Catholic High School and will attend Stevens Institute of Technology in the fall.   Scott specializes in drums and percussion but also plays guitar and bass. His keen interest in the artistic and technical aspects of music puts him in the music producer’s realm.  Scott sees his future role in music as anything from the sound guy in a theatre to a Grammy nominated record producer. He’s performed multiple years as co-principal percussionist in youth symphony performances at Lincoln Center and achieved a near perfect score in the NYSSMA All-State Jazz Drum kit category

Edward Fiscella is graduating from North Salem High School and will study at Berklee College of Music in the fall.  Eddie says he is pursuing a career in music and is expanding his education for a number of options like performing, composing, songwriting and film scoring.  One of his music teachers of seven years says Eddie’s humble personality, talent and collaborative disposition gives him a musical maturity rare for his age.  His work as a keyboard artist earned first place in three bandjam competitions, winning the NYSSMA electronic composition competitions two years in a row, and performing with the Westchester All County Jazz Ensemble. 

The Veatch Story is told in film and talk

Justin Veatch was a talented musician and singer/songwriter whose original recordings along with covers were released by Polyvinyl Records in 2010, one year after his death, on the CD Permagrin: The Music of Justin Veatch.  Music from the CD has been streamed in more than 30 countries.  The documentary film Whispering Spirits tells Justin’s story and how the Veatch family has dealt with the loss.  The multimedia talk A Message from Justin, presented by Jeffrey Veatch in schools and other events, is designed to inspire teens to take better care of themselves, to avoid the perils of substance abuse, and watch out for their friends.

If you wish to donate to the Justin Veatch Fund visit the funds website here


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