Press Release 2020

Performing Arts Scholarships  Awarded

St. Charles, IL, June 15, 2020 – The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts proudly announces the recipients of its scholarship awards for the 2020-21 school year. These  scholarships benefit post-secondary students from Chicago’s western suburbs who have declared a major in the performing arts and demonstrated a passion for performance.  This year’s winners include Elaysa Emmerich, Tim Hommowun, Maggie Kinney and Mary Emma Zimmerman from St. Charles, Bailey Cates from Elburn, Marteena Mendel-Duckins from Elgin, Elizabeth Sullivan from Lake in the Hills, Annabelle Mique from Streamwood, Michele Gurrieri from Schaumburg, and Parker Morley of Lombard.

Elaysa (Lasey) Emmerich of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate of St. Charles East High School where she played violin in various orchestras. She also performed with Elgin Youth Symphony and in pit orchestras for Marquee Youth Stage and Kaneland Arts Initiative. In the fall she will be studying both Music Performance and Business at Bradley University in Peoria.

Tim Hommowun of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. There he studied Oboe Performance, Baroque Oboe, Secondary Clarinet, Secondary Cello, Composition and Conducting. His extensive resume includes Pit Orchestra performances with Eastman Opera Theatre, Vero Voce and Kaneland Arts Initiative. In the fall he will be pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Oboe Performance at NYU Steinhardt.

Maggie Kinney of St. Charles recently graduated from St. Charles North High School where she participated in choirs and ensembles, plays and musicals. Her extensive performance resume also includes shows with Children’s Theatre of Elgin, Vero Voce and Fox Valley Youth Theatre. In the fall Maggie will be majoring in Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of Miami-Frost School of Music.

Mary Emma Zimmerman of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate of St. Charles North High School where she studied vocal and instrumental music. She participated in three choirs, marching band, and wind ensemble and appeared in madrigals, musicals and theater productions all four years. She has taken private voice and trumpet lessons and appeared on the Marquee Youth Stage for ten years, most notably as Princess Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress. In the fall she will be pursuing a double major in Theatre and Biology at Valparaiso University.

Bailey Cates of Elburn is a recent graduate of Kaneland High School. She has been an instrumentalist since the age of five starting with piano and moving on to guitar and trumpet. At KHS she played in the Concert Band, Jazz Band and Pit Bands, and sang and played at madrigal dinners. She also played with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and various district and All-State ensembles. In the fall she will major in Trumpet Performance at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Marteena Mendel-Duckins of Elgin is a 2020 graduate from the Larkin Visual and Performing Arts Academy. She has appeared in theatrical productions of Our Town, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Fiddler On the Roof and The Wizard of Oz. In addition to acting and singing, she dances and plays violin. In the fall she will study Film and Acting with a minor in Language Translation at the American University of Paris.

Elizabeth (Lizzy) Sullivan of Lake in the Hills is a recent graduate of Huntley High School where she focused on Theatre and Music. Her favorite theatre roles included Marci in Almost, Maine and Ellen in Two Rooms. Lizzy was also the 2018 Senior Division winner at the McHenry County Fair Talent Contest. This fall she will be majoring in Theatre Performance at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Annabelle Mique of Streamwood is a 2020 graduate of Elgin High School where she performed in several choirs, musicals and madrigal dinners. She also appeared in Les Miserables, a U-46 district summer musical. She studied guitar for three years, voice for four years and piano for five years. She is enrolled at DePaul University where she will study Arts Administration.

Michele Gurrieri of Schaumburg is a 2020 graduate of Conant High School where she participated in four years of improv and theatre productions. Michele has also been extremely active with Schaumburg On Stage. There she played leading roles in numerous productions, including Newsies and Les Miserables, and served as choreographer, stage manager, costume designer, sound designer and operator, and light board operator. She plans to attend Illinois State University in the fall where she will pursue a double major in Theatre and Hospitality.

Parker Morley of Lombard just completed his freshman year at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (Roosevelt University). A 2019 graduate of Glenbard East High School, he appeared in seven theatrical productions there. He also appeared for three years with Schaumburg Summer Theatre. Parker will return to CCPA in the fall to continue work on his BFA in Musical Theatre. In addition to performing, he aspires to be a writer and producer.

The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2018. Dennis Taylor served as a dancer, choreographer, costumer, makeup artist, set dresser and wig designer for dozens of suburban theaters for more than 50 years. Donations to the Scholarship Foundation in his memory can be made on our Facebook page or  on our website.

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