by Mary Anne Shea
Public Relations Chair
Grand Island Professional Women
Grand Island's Jodie White wants to be a musician. She will use her scholarship from the Grand Island Professional Women's Chapter, New York State Women, to attend SUNY Fredonia to major in music education. Her classes start Aug. 26.
White said her proudest moment was when she sang "O Holy Night" as a solo in a St. Stephen R.C. Church Christmas Concert when she was in eighth grade. "When the song was finished, I knew I touched people in the audience, and that feeling is something I'll never forget."
"I love nothing more than making music in an auditorium packed with people who love listening to music as much as I love playing it," she said
Her mother, Jeanne Suski, her high school music teachers Martin Allen and Carolyn Lokken, and her private trumpet teacher John Maguda, all helped her choose her career in music.
According to White, Allen never had to ask us to do our best; he just expected it - everyday, all the time.
Lokken gave White the foundation of music through music theory. "With her help, I will enter college a year ahead in music theory," White said. Music theory and AP music theory gave White a solid understanding of music. "Without music theory, I would be a very confused college freshman music major," she added.
"Mr. Maguda would push me to do my best. If I played something right, he would ask me to do it again, not because practice makes perfect, but because he knew I could play it better," White explained.
All of these teachers encouraged White and prepared her to enter college feeling like she's heading in the right direction.
White's two favorite Grand Island High School awards were the Most Improved Musician Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Musician Award in 2013. According to White, these two awards show how much she improved as a musician over her four years.
"I also made it into All-County three years in a row on three different instruments. And, I either played in the pit orchestra or sang on stage for our high school musicals all four years."
White said that one of the most important lessons she learned in high school was to be thankful.
"I am thankful for all the wonderful musical activities I was able to take part in high school. And, I am thankful that I became part of a family of musicians who I hope will go out into the world to fulfill their dreams."
White said that both the Outstanding Musician Award and the support from the Grand Island Professional Women encourages her to work even harder to become a professional musician.
The scholarship was presented by Grand Island Professional Women's Chapter President Diane Dinsmore and Scholarship Committee Chairman Sonja Miller, and committee member Bev Kinney at the chapter's recent awards dinner.
Jodie White has received the Grand Island Profession Women's 2013 scholarship. Pictured, from left, are Sonja Miller, Scholarship Committee chairman, White, Diane Dinsmore, chapter president, and Beverly Kinney, Scholarship Committee member.