Shepherd University Music Faculty rallies to raise funds for Mason Ellsworth

Shepherdstown, WV A number of Shepherd University Music Department faculty members are working on benefit concerts for Mason Ellsworth, the 19-year old son of Brian and Sylvia Ellsworth, owners of Ellsworth Music in Shepherdstown. Mason, who is in a coma at a Baltimore Trauma Center following a terrible car accident this past July, studied the bassoon with Shepherd University's Richard Polonchak, and played bassoon in Shepherd University's Preparatory Orchestra, where he worked with Anne Munro and conductor Dr. Mark McCoy. He graduated from Jefferson High School in May and was planning to pursue a music degree at Shepherd University this fall. The talented young man had been first chair in West Virginia All State Orchestra and was offered a Shepherd University music scholarship.

Shepherd University cello professor Stephen Czarkowski, together with Eva Price, director of the Berkeley County String Program, is organizing a benefit concert for Mason Ellsworth on Sunday, September 28th at 4:00 p.m. at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Mr. Czarkowski will conduct the Berkeley County High School Orchestra, of which Ellsworth was a member for the last four years, and many talented area musicians, including faculty of Shepherd University and friends among high school age musicians, will be performing in the concert. The repertoire of mostly classical music selections will include solos by bassoon and oboe, violin, cello and American Indian flute, as well as small ensemble works. All proceeds from this concert will go to the Ellsworth Family Fund to help with medical expenses and a minimum donation of $5 is requested. For more information contact Stephen Czarkowski or Eva Price at

The faculty wind trio from Shepherd University, The Shepherd Three, will also present a benefit concert for Mason Ellsworth and Luke McCormick at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 12th, at the Shepherdstown Train Station, followed by a reception hosted by Shepherd University's Sigma Alpha Iota sorority. Anne Munro (flute), Gregory Shook (oboe) and Richard Polonchak (bassoon) together form The Shepherd Three, and are Shepherd University Department of Music faculty and members of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. Harpsichordist Dr. Laura Renninger, Shepherd University's Coordinator of Music History and Appreciation, will be joining the trio in this concert. The program will include music by Bach, Mozart, Blavet, Telemann and Vivaldi, and will feature a performance of a new "jazz-inspired" trio written especially for Shepherd Three by Dr. Mark Cook, Coordinator of the Theory Division at Shepherd University. Luke McCormick, 22, of Charles Town, died in a motorcycle accident on August 19th in Morgantown. The Ellsworth and McCormick families have always been very close, and Luke McCormick's mother, Alicia McCormick, has requested that all monies donated in memory of Luke be given to the Ellsworth Family Fund for Mason's medical treatment. Admission to this concert is $10 for adults, and free for students 18 and under, Shepherd University students and faculty, seniors 65 and older, and Shepherd University Friends of Music.

To make donations to help the Ellsworth family's medical expenses, checks may be sent to: The Ellsworth Family Fund, c/o Kim Ellsworth @ 3201 Ramsland Way, Frederick, Md. 21704. To learn about Mason Ellsworth's recovery progress visit