VC music student receives prestigious $21,000 scholarship
Betsy Gifford, right, with Victoria College Music Professor Dr. Marylynn Fletcher
Betsy Gifford, right, with Victoria College Music Professor Dr. Marylynn Fletcher

Victoria College music student Betsy Gifford has received the prestigious Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship, administered by the Texas Association of Music Schools. She has also been chosen to represent Texas two-year colleges by performing a piano solo at the Texas Association of Music Schools Conference in January.

At VC, she is currently fulfilling the transfer curriculum in the field of music. The $21,000 scholarship will transfer with her to Sam Houston State University where she plans to pursue a degree in music therapy in the fall of 2016. When she completes her education, she wants to return to Victoria and work in music therapy.

“I believe Betsy is the kindest and smartest student I have had the privilege of teaching in my entire career,” said Dr. Marylynn Fletcher, VC music professor. “She is an exceptional person and we are thrilled that, through her talent and academic achievement, she has received this prestigious statewide recognition.”

Gifford is the second VC student to receive the scholarship, which is only open to freshmen. Chris Hammelwright was awarded the scholarship in fall 2010.

Texas colleges and universities that are members of the Texas Association of Music Schools may nominate one student for the Clara F. Nelson Music Scholarship, according to Fletcher. A committee of music executives chooses the recipients based on musical performance, academic performance and financial need. This year, 16 students from two-year colleges, four-year private universities, and four-year public universities were recipients. The total amount awarded to students planning to attend college during 2015-19 was $375,000.

“I’m honored to receive this scholarship,” said Gifford, a home-schooled student. “Hearing from other people that I am talented is very humbling. I’m very grateful to all of my professors who have helped me – Dr. Fletcher, Jona Anderson and Ann Johannsen. They all taught me a lot about music. Music has become my life and helped shaped me.”

The scholarship provides funding for four additional years of college after the freshman year. Currently, there are over 60 Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship recipients enrolled in Texas colleges and universities.

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2015

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