Kenneth Shade-Rania, an 18-year-old senior at Cape Henlopen High School, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the St. Cecilia Guild, a music outreach program of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes.
Shade-Rania said he plans to begin studies in music therapy and psychology this fall at Moravian College, a private liberal arts college in Bethlehem, Pa.
“I want to help people learn that music is a way to release stress and anxiety,” he said in his application to the guild’s awards committee. “I believe that music is a way to express one’s emotions through feelings and ideas being played. Since I have been in high school, I’ve always known I wanted to help people; after looking further into music therapy, I knew it was perfect for me.”
The son of Rob Shade and Jon Rania of Rehoboth, Kenneth said he wants to create a program in music therapy for special needs students. “In one of my choir classes I have a few kids that are special needs. When I watch them sing, I see confidence and control over their disabilities. Seeing this warms my heart, knowing that something I will be doing in the future can help make others happy and help them cope with their disabilities.”
During his four years at Cape, he participated in the baritone and treble choir, the school band and the jazz band, where his go-to instrument was the saxophone. Throughout high school he also worked part time for SoDel Concepts, including Bluecoast and Thompson Island restaurants in Rehoboth.
Shade-Rania said the award, the first offered by the St. Cecilia Guild, will pay for music textbooks, along with private music lessons.
“While the main purpose of the guild is to enable everyone in eastern Sussex to have free access to quality music, we also believe it is important to encourage talented young people to pursue a career in the field of music,” said Pat Casadei, a member of the guild’s standing committee. “What better way to do this than to help with the expenses a college freshman will be facing?”