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Deborah Beene winners to take the stage

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By Special to the Monitor

Once again the community is welcomed to attend a free concert showcasing the Deborah Beene Music Scholarship winners, past and present.

This year’s concert is the largest ever, with seven past award winners joining this year’s four winners.

The annual Deborah Beene Award Winners Concert will be at 2 p.m. June 14 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

Ranging from a freshman to graduating seniors, the talent in this year’s concert is hard to beat.

Among the performers will be past winner Audrey Walstrom, mezzo-soprano, who is an apprentice with Santa Opera and will appear courtesy of The Santa Fe Opera.

This year’s winners will also take the stage. Bethany Sullivan, Adam Nekimken and Jin Park share this year’s top prize.

Sullivan, soprano, and Nekimken, trombone, both graduated from Los Alamos High School in May. Park, piano, was a LAHS freshman. Honorable mention went to sophomore David Li, piano.

Sullivan began piano lessons at 8 and continues to study piano but switched her focus to voice two years ago.

She began singing in the LAHS choir her freshman year. She was the lead in LAHS’ production of the “Little Shop of Horrors” and sang the part of Rosie in “Bye-Bye Birdie.”

She has been accepted into the drama department at the University of Oklahoma where she plans to continue vocal training.

Nekimken has played the trombone for eight years and currently plays in the Los Alamos Community Winds, as the principal trombonist. Nekimken played at Carnegie Hall last year with the National Collegiate Winds Ensemble.

Though he is not pursuing a music degree, he plans to continue to play the trombone.

Park has studied piano for 10 years and violin for five years. He is a member of LAHS Symphonic Orchestra.

He enjoys composing music and has arranged music for the Los Alamos Middle School Orchestra and conducted the middle school orchestra.

Li began learning the piano at 7; he also plays guitar and drums. He competed regionally and at the state level, bringing home honors from the Jackie McGehee Young Artists Competition.

Former Deborah Beene Scholarship winners in this event include Genevieve Leitner, guitar; Renee Hemsing, violin; Andrew Steward, flute; and pianists Catherine Chen, Frank Chen and Nathan Salazar.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos sponsors both the Deborah Beene music performance competition and the Award Winners Concert.

The scholarship was established by former Rotarian Don Beene and his wife Sara in memory of their daughter Deborah, a budding musical talent, who died in her early teens.

Rotarians, community members and the Beene family endowment comprise each year’s scholarships.

For more information, contact Ed Van Eeckhout at 662-5445 or Brian Newnam at 662-9679. Visit the club’s website, www.losalamos.org/.