Coastal Concerts awards 2020 music scholarships

June 28, 2020

Coastal Concerts organizers take great pleasure in announcing the recipients of its 2019-20 music scholarships available to middle and high school student musicians residing in Delmarva.

This year, Coastal Concerts awarded a total of $4,200 to five students, three in high school and two in middle school.

Violinist Robert Reese-Hengel of Milton recently competed eighth grade at Mariner Middle School where he played in the band under the direction of Brian Mahoney. Robert takes private solo performance instruction with Mike Marotta, under whose direction he performed in recital at Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes in January 2019 and 2020. Robert plans to apply his Coastal Concerts music scholarship award partly to the purchase of his violin and partly to support his private instruction.

Flute player and composer Grace Kerr of Millsboro just graduated from Indian River High School. She served as drum major for the marching band, president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and lead reed musician for the pit orchestra, among other musical, social, academic and community activities. Outside school, she performed with the Delaware All-State Band, Sussex County Honors Choir and Band, and the Rehoboth Concert Band. Grace plans to use her Coastal Concerts scholarship award to supplement her tuition to West Chester University, where she will pursue studies in music education.

Violinist Gabriela Salvador-Riera of Wilmington is a vocal and strings major who just completed  eighth grade at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington. She was a soprano in the advanced treble choir, a first violinist in the select high school chamber orchestra, and treasurer of the National Junior Honor Society. Gabriela studies violin with Julianne Murphy Ruiz at the Music School of Delaware where she participates in the honors program under Shelley Beard Santore. She is currently co-concertmaster of the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra and a member of the #HashtagJazz vocal ensemble. Gabriela intends to apply her scholarship to the continuation of her studies in the Music School of Delaware Honors Program.

Harp player Katarina Swann of Newark just finished ninth grade at Sanford School in Hockessin. She received a Sanford high school merit scholarship award and is a member of the concert choir and vocal ensemble, having previously played clarinet and piano in the school’s concert and jazz bands. Katarina played with the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra from 2017 to 2019. She recently completed her second season with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, performing at the Kimmel Center. Katarina plans to apply her scholarship award to tuition for harp study this summer at the Interlochen Arts Academy Summer Camp in Michigan, COVID-19 conditions permitting.

Zoe Yost, a viola player from Newark, is a rising senior at Mt. Sophia Academy. She studies viola with Kerri Ryan of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She is principal violist with Temple University Music Prep’s Youth Chamber Orchestra and plays in two string quartets. She was a member of Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School’s Trowbridge Advanced Study String Quartet in 2017 and 2018, and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra from 2017 to 2019. Zoe intends to apply her Coastal Concerts music scholarship award to conservatory tuition or a new bow.

Since the introduction of the scholarship program in 2002, 40 students have received awards totaling $42,700. For more information, go to

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