Music in the Mountains

Youth Ambassador Scholarships

The Music in the Mountains Youth Ambassador Scholarship program is an opportunity for selected students in grades 9-12 to expand and enhance their musical knowledge and talent.

Selected students will act as a representative of Music in the Mountains and win a scholarship package with an estimated value of $2,000/student.

Meet Our 2024 Recipients!

Youth Ambassador Scholarship Recipients

Alex Chasse

Freshman | Durango High School

Instrument: Violin

“My excitement about the instrument started to grow when I joined the San Juan Junior Youth Symphony in 6th grade. With coaching and practice I was able to move up to the highschool/college level Symphony when I was in 8th Grade. This semester I was given the opportunity to be in a chamber group with two other young musicians, and we have formed a tight connection and friendship. I plan to continue playing in the youth orchestra, my chamber group, school ensembles and local events like the Bach Festival all throughout high school.

The days of the week that I take my lessons with Mrs. Avery are my favorite, alongside chamber group and Symphony rehearsals. My weekly lessons allow me to learn and improve under insightful guidance. I am currently thinking about applying to the Lamont Music Academy summer program at the University of Denver, as well as multiple other summer camp opportunities across the country.”

Jacob Cuthbertson

Freshman | Durango High School

Instrument: Cello

Music has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old when I had my first piano lesson in Western Australia. Once I had done 4 years of piano, I was gratefully exposed to a band called “Simply 3.” This was the point when I first heard and saw what a cello was capable of, and I knew from that moment that I wanted to create something just as incredible as what I saw. From that time I joined my 5th grade school orchestra and began to learn the extraordinary instrument.

From the trends that I have seen in my life the more musically inclined I am the better my learning is, my focus, and my overall performance in the classroom setting. This scholarship will help me because it will allow me to dive into music and cello techniques and talents on the next level, teach me how to do hard things (and sometimes nerve-racking things), make cello an even bigger part of my life, and most importantly, I see this as an opportunity to grow as a complete human being through music.”

Ayumi Lambert

Sophomore | Durango High School

Instrument: Violin

“Pursuing music from a very young age has led me to value the joy music can bring people. I have had many opportunities to perform my violin for people whether it’s at a recital, a camp, a nursing home, or playing for people on the holidays to make them happy. I obtain much satisfaction from making music for others to listen to because I see how much joy it can bring people.

By receiving this scholarship, I will be able to continue to share the gift of music with others. With this scholarship, I will also have the opportunity to grow my knowledge of music. Although I have been in the music world for quite some time now, I am confident that there is so much more for me to learn so I can continue to progress. There is nothing like the feeling of performing a piece at a recital and knowing that the reason I felt confident and played well was because I had put so much effort into preparing the piece. I know that with this scholarship, I will have the opportunity to let my musical abilities grow even more.”

Weiming Lambert

Senior | Durango High School

Instrument: Viola

“Enjoying music again after a period of time when I had taken it for granted, and neglected the importance of it in my life helped me realize the impact music constantly has in my life. Learning to play music in a way that actually made me feel something, discovering the potential of my sound, and learning to love my sound helped me realize how valuable music is in my life, and how it has shaped the person I am.

Music is an outlet that allows me to creatively express whatever I am feeling, and it is a constant I can turn to when life becomes overwhelming and stressful. I know that along with bringing peace to my life, music is the ultimate connector for all people. All people can experience the joy and fulfillment of music, and it builds communities and unites us as one, which is increasingly important in the society we live in today.”

Nathan Newman

Senior | Durango High School

Instrument: Violin

“Since I was young, the captivating sound of the violin has fascinated me. Its melodious and potent tunes have enchanted me and stirred a profound urge to become skilled at playing this stunning instrument. As I embarked on my musical journey once again, it dawned on me that through the violin, emotions could be conveyed in ways beyond words; thus becoming an inherent part of who I am as a person while also allowing for artistic connections with others at deeper levels.

Upon discovering the Music in the Mountains Youth Ambassador Scholarship, I immediately felt a deep resonance with its purpose. Obtaining this scholarship is more than just an enhancement to my musical abilities – it also affords me the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for Music in the Mountains. I could actively participate in advancing music education within and beyond La Plata County. Based on my own encounters with this art form, I am enthusiastic about inspiring individuals to tap into their imaginative capabilities through music and significantly enhance their well-being.”

Nathan is also a recipient of the 2024 Juilliard Extension Scholarship Award

DENNY WOODS

Sophomore | Durango High School

Instrument: Piano

“I have always felt a deep connection to music, considering it not just a hobby, but an integral part of who I am. My journey began at a young age, filled with a conviction that I was meant to perform. This belief was further strengthened by my participation as a Youth Ambassador at the Education Gala last year, which not only fueled my passion for music but also provided a significant opportunity to share this love with a broader audience.

My unwavering dedication to music is evident in my commitment to a life enriched with musical knowledge, expression, and creativity. Receiving this scholarship enables me to delve deeper into the music world, enhancing my skills and sharing my passion more widely.”

Denny is also a recipient of the 2024 Juilliard Extension Scholarship Award