Local News

Four chosen for annual Sam Pitcher scholarship

From left are Sam Pitcher scholarship winners Lily Vaughn, Kinani Halvorsen, Amber Junker and Hana Lee Oshima. (Photo courtesy Karen Pitcher)

The annual Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Fund has chosen four Ketchikan students to receive scholarships this year.

The students are 11th grader Hana Lee Oshima, 10th grader Amber Junker, ninth-grader Kinani Halvorsen, and ninth-grader Lily Vaughn.

Oshima will receive $750 to attend Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado; and the other recipients will receive $500 each to attend the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Oshima has studied classical piano and alto saxophone in both Ketchikan and Kanayama, Japan. She plays in Ketchikan High School’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, and has been selected for Southeast Honor Band. She also plays in McPherson Music’s Windjammers band, which primarily consists of adults. Oshima also sings, and hopes to remain involved with music throughout her life.

Junker plays trombone and electric bass guitar. She plays in Kayhi’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, as well as the Windjammers band. She has been selected to play with the All-Alaska Jazz Band, Southeast Honor Band and All-State Honor Band. She hopes to pursue music in college.

Halvorsen plays trombone, piano and didgeridoo. She plays with the Kayhi Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble.

Vaughn plays percussion and piano. She occupies the sole percussion chair in the Kayhi Jazz Band, and plays with McPherson’s Soundwaves band.

The Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Fund started following Sam’s death in 2003 at age 16. Sam’s passion was music, and he participated in all the Kayhi and McPherson bands, as well as The Rubber Band. This is the 11th year of the memorial scholarship program, which has awarded more than $23,000 to 47 young musicians.

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