The Foundation for the Arts in Mill Creek recently named the two winners of the organization’s annual scholarships.
Travis Abel received one scholarship, called “The Foundation for the Arts in Mill Creek Scholarship.” A senior at Jackson High School, he will attend Berklee School of Music in Boston this fall, with an intended double major in performance and music production and engineering. His goal is to start his own recording company.
A drummer, Abel has preformed at Merrill Gardens, Mill Creek’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the USS Lincoln homecoming, the reception for Olympic gymnast Brett McClure at City Hall and many other events. He has been in the pep band all four years at Jackson, wind ensemble for three years, and percussion ensemble its first year. He has preformed at New York’s Carnegie Hall with maestro Lukas Foss and has been invited to perform in 2006 with maestro Benjamin Zander.
Abel has received numerous honors. He has won the Washington Educators Award of Excellence in Music, Jackson High School’s most musical student honor, best musician award in the Jackson High Jazz Band, Hershey All-American Band Nominee, National Band Award at Indiana University, first place in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and last year he won first place at the Heritage Festival in New York City.
Fellow Jackson senior Stephanie Halligan received the foundation’s Jeanine Cyr Scholarship, named in honor of the organization’s founder. Halligan plans to attend Boston University this fall with a goal of becoming an art and music teacher.
Halligan plays tuba in Jackson’s band and received a third-place award for a visual arts piece from the Everett School District during its art show. Her fellow seniors voted her the best artist in Jackson’s class of 2005. This year she also received an honorable mention award for scholastic arts and writing from the Arts Council of Snohomish County.
She is in the National Honor Society, an organization she helped start at Jackson, and is senior class president. She mentors ninth graders and is an after-school care provider for two children. In November 2004 she was the Mill Creek Rotary student of the month.