Potter's Violins Instrument Awards
Feb. 2013: ASTA is pleased to announce that three outstanding young musicians were recently awarded instruments by Dalton Potter, owner of Potter’s Violins in Bethesda, Maryland, for the October 2012 round of the instrument awards for students in need. The winners were selected from a number of very deserving applicants, all whom benefitted from generous and supportive string teachers who recommended them for this honor.
Award winners include: Kendra Base, Long Beach, California; Tyree Mcdowell, Moore, South Carolina; and Isabel Ashley Martinez, Los Angeles, California.
Our first Potter’s winner, Kendra Base, is an eighth-grade violinist who studies at the Orange County High School of the Arts, and lives in Long Beach, California. Nominated by ASTA member Kay Pech, Kendra is an enthusiastic musician who also plays the harp, guitar, banjo, and a little piano. According to Pech, Kendra “has an excellent future in music and could eventually be a professional harpist, guitarist, and violinist….When you are with her, she lights up the room with her happiness in any musical project.” She is a member of the Chamber Music Institute of Southern California, the Four Seasons Orchestra in Santa Margarita, California, and the American Harp Society. Kendra and her sister also share their talents by performing for community organizations through their school’s outreach program.
Tyree Mcdowell is a 10th-grade violinist at Dorman High School, Roebuck, South Carolina, where he studies with ASTA member Susan Baier, one of the teachers who recommended him for this award. Baier describes Tyree as “an unusually talented student.” He was selected for both his region and all state orchestras, and is a leader of his section and class. He has also received a scholarship to Converse College’s pre-college program, and studied at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts summer program. Tyree hopes to become a professional violinist some day, and says that “orchestra has always provided me with a light at the end of a dark tunnel.”
Our third winner, Isabel Ashley Martinez, is a ninth-grade violinist from West Adams Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, California, and a private student of ASTA member, and California ASTA treasurer, Mitsuru Saeki. Isabel is a student who was diagnosed with learning disabilities at age five and not given the opportunity to participate in extracurricular classes, due to her individualized education program. At age 11 she had the opportunity to join her church orchestra, and it has changed her life. Isabel writes, “Violin is my passion . . . knowing that I was able to learn how to play the violin reminds me that all things are possible. My career goal is to become a music teacher for students that have learning disabilities. I want to show them that having a learning disability should not stop them from pursuing their dreams.” Isabel’s teacher, Mitsuru Saeki writes, “She might spend more time for learning one thing, but she practiced a lot more than other students, so that she is not only catching up with others but also improved more than other students.”
Thanks to Dan Levitov, Maryland ASTA president, who led the selection committee, assisted by Maryland chapter members Paul Scimonelli, and Matt Horwitz-Lee. The next deadline for the program is April 1, 2013.