Shepherd University Friends of Music Awards $7,000 in Friends Fellowships

Shepherdstown, WV-The Friends of Music Board of Directors recently awarded seven Shepherd University music students with $1,000 scholarships to be known as "Friends Fellowships." The Board provided the funds and asked music department faculty to select seven outstanding students as the first class of "Friends Fellows." On September 10, 2008, the Friends Fellows were introduced and were presented their award. The scholarship funds will be applied toward tuition and fees, and to help cover expenses for the upcoming European concert tour on May 17-26, 2009.

The 2008 Friends Fellows class includes Jennifer Ferenz, flute, of Hagerstown MD; Marie Crenwelge, clarinet, of Hedgesville WV; Kari Edge, piano, of Harpers Ferry, WV; Jackson Hopkins, French horn, of Hagerstown, MD; Mathew Lincoln-Bugg, voice, of Purcellville, VA; Ahmet Akaydin, guitar, of Arlington, VA; and Jason Solounias, piano, of Havre de Grace, MD.

The students expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the awards. Jason Solounias felt "honored to be recognized and awarded the scholarship from the Friends of Music." Ahmet Akaydin said, "I was in a state of disbelief upon receiving the award and am very grateful to the Friends of Music. I will continue to focus my efforts on excelling as a musician and upholding the honor of being a Fellow."

The Shepherd University Department of Music recently accepted invitations to perform in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. Nearly ninety people will travel from Shepherdstown to represent Shepherd University excellence throughout the three countries. "I am extremely thrilled to be one of the Friends Fellows. I'm also very thankful for this award because it helps my family and me pay for the Europe trip," said Matthew Lincoln-Bugg. "I would like to thank the Friends of Music for assisting me with the trip to Germany," said Jackson Hopkins. "Because of them, I will not only be able to observe and learn more about German culture, but what I learn will also help me in teaching music to individuals."

The awards are intended not only to assist the students financially, but also to provide encouragement. Marie Crenwelge said "I feel privileged to have received this award from the Friends of Music. It is great that there are people so dedicated to the musical education of Shepherd's students. I hope to use this award to continue in my musical growth here at Shepherd."

"I am very thankful to Betty Lou and Robert Bryant for their gift of the Betty Lou and Robert Bryant Friends Fellowship," said Kari Edge. "This gift will help me travel to Germany this summer with the Music Department and add more life-changing experiences to the list of those I've already had at Shepherd. With help from the Friends of Music, students really can expect to experience the extraordinary at Shepherd."

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization supporting musical excellence at Shepherd University. In addition to providing numerous scholarships to promising young talent, they have purchased instruments for the music department-including a $140,000 Fazioli Piano, assisted in national and international travel-including the 2005 performance in Carnegie Hall and the 2003 appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, initiated a professional chamber ensemble-the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, and present an annual Guest Artist Series of exceptional concerts bringing world-renown performers to the Frank Arts Center stage.

Information about the Shepherd University's Department of Music can be found at For more information about the Friends of Music, to become a member, purchase tickets to the Guest Artist Series concerts or to make a tax-deductible contribution, call 304-876-5765 or visit