DCOA announces scholarship winners

DCOA announces scholarship winnersWinners from left are Rhiannon Cushing, Caleb Tomes and Britney Brown. — Courtesy photo



News Review Contributor

The three recipients of this year’s Desert Community Orchestra Association-sponsored Peter Pinto music scholarships are soprano Britney Brown, pianist Rhiannon Cushing and cellist Caleb Tomes.

The scholarships are awarded annually to students (graduating high school senior to 22nd birthday) planning to continue their musical studies privately or in college. Applicants were evaluated on their musical performance, school and community involvement and musical goals.

The award is named for the late Dr. Peter Pinto, a pediatrician who played the violin for many years in the community orchestra. The Desert Community Orchestra Association will present Britney Brown with a $500 scholarship and Rhiannon Cushing and Caleb Tomes each with a $250 scholarship at the orchestra’s Young Artists Concert, to be held May 5 at 7 p.m. at United Methodist Church of Ridgecrest.

Britney Brown is a full-time Cerro Coso Community College student graduating in May with an associate’s degrees in mathematics, computer science and three liberal arts disciplines. Britney has a background in music with piano, violin and voice and has been active in the local musical community, with participation in musical entertainment at High Desert Haven Assisted Living Center, Cerro Coso College’s EOPS Christmas Angel Tree program; membership in the Ridgecrest Opera Guild; performing in RMES productions; member ship in DCO; and serving as a chess leader and expert in monthly chess tournaments and summer camps.

Her present private music teachers are David Hodgson, voice, and Patrick Rindt, piano. Britney plans to transfer to a University of California to double major in statistics and musical theater with a long term goal of earning a PhD in statistics for a career in teaching. Britney is the daughter of Yihfen Chen and Duane Brown.

Rhiannon Cushing is a senior graduating in June from Burroughs High School. She has been very active in the local music community, participating in Burroughs High School Band all four years in the percussion section in drum line. She has been a jazz pianist in the Pep Band and Jazz Band, has performed in many High Desert Music Teachers Association recitals including honors secitals, plays piano for a church youth group weekly and is church organist and has been in California Scholarship Federation all four years. Her private music teacher is Melanie McDonald.

Rhiannon will attend University of Nevada, Reno, with a major in psychology and minor in music or double majoring in these subjects with a longterm goal of obtaining a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Rhiannon is the daughter of Jason and Verity Cushing.

Caleb Tomes is a senior graduating in June from Burroughs. He has been very active in the music community, both here and in Tulare during his high school years, when he participates in chool orchestras, after-school symphonies and chamber orchestra and honors programs. He has been cello section lead in his senior year. He has also participated in BHS talent shows and performed at a BHS reunion and has been in school clubs (chess, CSF, Friends of Rachel, FCA and Key Club). He also volunteered in many church activities, including counseling in summer camp, and helping coach Little League baseball. His private music teacher is Laura Olinger.

Caleb plans to attend a four-year university majoring in either mechanical or aeronautical engineering. He strongly desires to continue playing music for rest of his life, playing in community orchestra and church. Caleb is the son of Keith and Christine Tomes.

Story First Published: 2018-03-23