A winning musical quintet: St. Williams Fund cites ‘passion’

From left to right: Jim Burke, St. Williams Dorchester Fund Director, Trevor Barrant, Jennifer Browne, Aidan Roy, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Emma McCleary, Zachary Pessia, Cathy Mullin, Board Member, Roger Croke, Board Member.

The seventh annual St. Williams Dorchester Fund scholarships were presented on Sunday to five neighborhood students with musical abilities who are heading to college in the fall. The awards ­– including checks for $1,000 – were handed out at the Blarney Stone in Fields Corner.

“The traits we look for in students are those who show perseverance, hard work, and passion for what they’re doing when it comes to music and beyond that,” said Jim Burke, director of the St. Williams Dorchester Fund. “There’s not a single kid who has been awarded a scholarship that hasn’t met our criteria so far.”

This year’s recipients are: Jennifer Browne, a vocalist from Boston Latin School who will attend Marist College; Zachary Pessia, a vocalist from Boston Collegiate Charter School heading for Boston College; Trevor Barrant, percussionist, from Boston College High School who will attend Harvard College; Aidan Roy, pianist, from Boston College High School, who will attend Purdue University; and Emma McCleary, color guard performer, from Boston Latin Academy attending Regis College.

The Fund was launched in 2011 as an outgrowth of a reunion of 400 guests held at Boston College High School for former members of the St. Williams Band. The fund has since awarded more than $20,000 to students in 20 scholarships since its establishment.

“My personal feeling is that athletic and educational scholarships seem to be everywhere in the greater Boston area, but not musical scholarships,” explained Burke. “That was one of our goals when we first started. We try to rewards kids who work just as hard on their musical talent as anyone works on athletics or anything else, and we wanted to recognize those kids for the talent and dedication they have.”

“We don’t just look for musicians,” he added. “We look for well-rounded kids who do well in school and are engaged in the Dorchester community, and have a passion for and a talent in music.”

The Fund’s core goals for next year are to deepen the connection with the Dorchester community, raise funds in innovative ways, and gain more applications from Dorchester’s students with further outreach.

For more information on the Fund, visit stwilliamsdorchesterfund.org/index.html.

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