I remember learning to play the recorder in the fourth grade and feeling proud of myself after learning every piece in the book. I practiced for long periods without realizing how much time had passed. It was the same when I learned to play the flute, and still occurs to this day. From a young age, I found my strongest passion and soon discovered a world of opportunities music could bring to anyone- not only the ability to perform, but enhancement of the school experience and academic performance as well.
I am a very active musician- I have been seated as the principal flute player of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, performed in Rock Valley College’s Starlight Theatre, Auburn High School’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, local schools in need of member in pit orchestras for musicals, and qualified for the District 8 ILMEA Festival in 2018. Thanks to the many amazing educators and musicians who have helped me along the way, I am able to stand where I am today.
I hope to become a high school music educator after getting my B.A. in Music Education at NIU. I plan to one day reach the doctorate level so I can reach an even wider horizon of students. I believe it only takes a single passionate person to inspire masses and make a positive impact on a community and around the globe. I hope I can be that passionate person, inspiring others to become successful in what they love to do as well.
The Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. has awarded over $70,000 to over 50 students to support their desire to study music.
The Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Trust was established in 1996 to honor the memory and continue the legacy of Gary Wilmer by awarding scholarships to students who wish to pursue and education in music. Gary was the founder & publisher of RAM Magazine, a Rockford area music monthly, and a founding organizer of the RAMI awards. Joe Guzzardo, owner of Guzzardo Music, said of Gary, "He was thoughtful and sensitive, and thoroughly understood the problems and needs of local music and musicians." Gary could do it all, be it organizing benefits, booking bands, running sound or lights, helping new music club owners or encouraging new talent to persevere. As the president of his senior class at East High School, as a graduate of Rockford College and as a successful businessman, Gary's 43 years of living showed that education is a marvelous "conductor" of a successful musical life.
It is the sincere hope of the RAMI scholarship committee that the recipients of this scholarship will carry on Gary's legacy with pride.
- Be a college-bound student in Boone, Ogle or Winnebago County;
- Be 19 years old or younger as of the application deadline;
- Be attending or planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college/university;
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0;
- Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to further their musical education throughout college; and
- Be actively involved in school or community musical groups.
- Past recipients are not eligible to reapply.
Deadline February 1. For more information and online application forms, visit www.cfnil.org.
RAMI funds several programs through The Music Academy in Rockford. Each student is nominated by the staff of the Music Academy and must demonstrate financial need. Scholarship covers one year of study.
PO Box 4128, Rockford, IL 61110
ramicommittee @ ramiawards.com
Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. is classified as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the standards of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, any donations to the Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.