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2009 Scholarships Mark Seven Years of McNally Smith Music Scholarships

Like thousands of young students across the country who are interested in many kinds of music and the music industry, Lindsay Miller, a native of Holland, Michigan, has been playing guitar since she was a little girl. Now Miller, along with Leah Tousignant (Mounds View, MN) and Danielle Huey (Eagle River, WI.) will be attending the McNally Smith College of Music on a full scholarship this fall and over the next several years. Miller is the 2009 scholarship award winner of the Ice Cube Scholarship (for recording technology), a program area focused heavily on music production.

Tousignant received the prestigious Diana Ross Scholarship (for music performance), while Huey is this year’s recipient of the Conclave Music Business Scholarship. According to Jeff Aalbers, Director of Administrative Services, this year’s winners were chosen from a highly competitive field of candidates and represent the kind of top caliber music students that the college appeals to and seeks to recruit through its various scholarship programs. Since 2002, the college has awarded more than $120,000 each year for the two, four-year scholarship programs and $16,000 each year for the two-year Conclave degree.

“Lindsay, Leah and Danielle all demonstrate the requisite talent, ambition and academic achievement that McNally Smith College of Music likes to see in students who want to attend this outstanding music college,” Aalbers notes. “Each one also meets the requirements for financial aid, which more students are asking for in the current economic environment. We view these top scholarships as investments in the future of outstanding recording artists and in the music business professionals of tomorrow.  The faculty and their fellow students look forward to seeing them reach their goals.”

Diana Ross Winner Excels at Jazz Piano, Singing and Songwriting

Tousignant — whose award was personally selected by the international recording artist, Ms. Ross —  bested a field of five other musician-hopefuls (after many other finalist applications were reviewed for consideration). The singer who has been playing since she was five years-old submitted original compositions and a video performance piece.

“A lot of music schools that I considered were too classically focused and not enough focused on contemporary music,” Tousignant said, “but I knew after a visit to McNally Smith that this was the place for me.” She includes among her influences, Jason Mraz, Adele (“for her phenomenal singing”) and Jamie Cullum, although her peers often compare her to Josh Stone and Sara Bareilles. “My goal,” she emphasizes, “is to not emulate anyone but to create my own distinctive voice.”

“I’m still blown away by getting this huge scholarship,” she says. “My parents and I are so excited by it; we didn’t know how we would pay for music college especially in this long recession.”

Ice Cube Scholarship Recipient Chose School of Hands-On Approach

Miller was chosen from entrants for the Ice Cube Scholarship after submitting a song that she wrote and also produced while she was already in her first semester at the celebrated music college. “I was ecstatic when I was learned that I won!” she exclaims. “The school offers the most hands-on and real-world experience working with record labels and studios anywhere in the world.” Miller apparently has what it takes to make it in the biz: The week she had to produce the track, she also worked a 40-hour week and had to study for final exams.

Conclave Winner Will Seek Artist Management and Promotion Position

Huey first heard about McNally Smith from a friend who manages bands in Los Angeles and later attended the “Your Future in Music” camp at the music college last summer. While at the camp, she fell in love with the school: “The staff was great and the environment was awesome. Everyone there shares a passion for music,” she explains “I knew right away that it was the school for me.” But it was seeing her first concert at age 13, blink 182, that made her realize she wanted to work in the business, most likely in artist management and promotion. “The experience of seeing that band was indescribable and one that I’ll never forget. Now I won’t be happy doing anything else other than working in the music business.”

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