Coastal Concerts announces scholarships

March 18, 2014

Coastal Concerts has awarded $1,500 scholarships to two Sussex County high school students to help them continue their music education.

Alison Van Vort, a senior at Milford High School, and Marius Sander, a junior at St. Thomas More Academy, were competitively selected for the scholarships based on talent, academic achievement, community service, and teacher recommendations. The scholarship recipients will be introduced to audience members at Coastal Concerts’ final program of the 2013-14 season Saturday, March 22, in Lewes.

Van Vort has played French horn for nine years. Among many honors for her musicianship, she has been selected Delaware Junior All State Band first chair French horn and has performed with the Delaware Governor's School for Excellence and the Kent County Junior and Senior Honor Bands. In addition, Van Vort ranks No. 1 academically in her class of 235 students and is a member of the National Honor Society.

In addition to participation in the concert, marching, jazz, and pit bands at school, she plays in the Milford Community Band and Dover Symphony Orchestra. Van Vort plans to use her scholarship to pursue her music education in music performance. Her goal is to play horn professionally and to give back to a community, wherever she may live by helping to create a community band.

Sander, a violinist, began studying the violin at age 4. Last summer, he performed with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. In addition, he has been a member of the All State Concert Band as first chair, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Music School of Delaware Youth String Quartet, and the First State Strings, for which he was concert master. Sander has won the Wilmington Community Orchestra Concert Competition for violin and the Artistic Excellence Young People's Scholarship in Music. He received the Governor's Volunteer Award for Community Service for his efforts to bring classical music to the local community while maintaining a 4.0 GPA in his first two years of high school.

He also plays piano and viola and envisions playing the violin professionally. Sander plans to use his music scholarship to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute this summer, where he will continue to enhance his already outstanding skills in the hands of the professional violinists of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Since introducing its scholarship program in 2006, Coastal Concerts has awarded $16,500 to 19 talented young people. The scholarships are part of a comprehensive education and outreach campaign that also includes free public concerts, donation of used but playable musical instruments to local schools, and classroom visits by selected artists who engage students in classical music through discussion and performance. Coastal Concerts also offers free admission to its regularly scheduled programs to young people ages 10 to 18 and one accompanying adult, and makes discounted tickets available to students 19 and older with a valid school ID.

Now in its 15th season, Coastal Concerts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation of world-class classical music in central Delmarva through live concerts, outreach and educational activities. For more information or to support Coastal Concerts, go to


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