2022 Scholarship Winners

The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra (KSO) has awarded four local student musicians its new Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra High School Senior Musician Scholarship. In the spring of 2022, the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra inaugurated the awarding of a $500 scholarship to DeKalb County high school students who have played in instrumental music ensembles in high school and will be members of such ensembles after beginning college.

The scholarship awardees are: Brianna Castillo and Benjamin Grych from DeKalb High School (DHS), and Sam Crutcher and Sarah Siddiqui from Sycamore High School (SHS). The recipients of the scholarship were formally announced at the May 7, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert.

Each recipient is an accomplished musician and participated in several music activities while in high school. Castillo, who is primarily a percussionist, performed in the DHS Orchestra, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, other band ensembles, choral groups, and theater productions. Crutcher, a trombonist, performed in the SHS Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and other band and orchestra ensembles. Grych, a clarinetist, performed in DHS Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and other band and community ensembles. Siddiqui, a violinist, performed in SHS Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, Jazz Strings, and other orchestras and ensembles, including NIU Sinfonia.

The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra is a nonprofit community orchestra which provides a place for area musicians to use their talents in an orchestral setting. The orchestra consists of professional, student, and dedicated amateur musicians. It began informally in 1976 and now engages in weekly rehearsals and an annual series of concerts. Concerts are held in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Northern Illinois University Music Building, DeKalb.

The KSO is grateful for the support of grants from the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, the Mary E. Stevens Concert Trust, Sycamore Charities, WNIU/WNIJ Station Sponsorship, featuring KSO concerts on select Monday nights on WNIU’s Encore program, the Kishwaukee Symphony Associates, and other private donations, including those from the annual Give DeKalb County event. This variety of support helps the KSO continue its mission performing live classical music to the community, funding scholarships for high school and NIU students, and providing music education outreach in DeKalb County schools.

To contribute any amount toward KSO scholarships for NIU or high-school students, please visit kishorchestra.org/scholarships.

Brianna Castillo and Benjamin Grych from DeKalb High School,
with David Sinason (member of the KSO Board of Directors)
Sam Crutcher from Sycamore High School,
with Linc Smelser (Music Director of the KSO)
Sarah Siddiqui from Sycamore High School, with
David Sinason (member of the KSO Board of Directors)