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Three NHS graduates awarded Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre scholarships

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre (NVMT) has awarded scholarship grants totaling $2,300 to three recent graduates of Neshaminy High School who are planning to study the performing arts in college this fall.

The three recipients from the Class of 2020, are Molly Coughlin of Langhorne, Nathalie Hernandez of Trevose, and Elizabeth Shekhterman of Langhorne.

The NVMT scholarships were announced at Neshaminy’s Class of 2020 virtual senior awards night held on June 12th.

Molly Coughlin received support from NVMT through the Evelyn McLean Memorial Scholarship Fund. Her career goal is to be a music teacher, noting her belief that music is the universal language and she is passionate about sharing that belief. She is a vocal artist and was a member of the Neshaminy Concert Choir for three years and the high school’s elite Select Choir during her final year. Outside of school, Coughlin is the director of the Neshaminy High School Women’s Choir, an audition-based a cappella group. In her free time, she also composes music, which she often performs in local restaurants as part of the musical duo, Passing Mars. She will attend Bucks County Community College, planning to transfer to a four- or five-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music education.

Nathalie Hernandez received support from NVMT through the George W. Kinsley IV Memorial Scholarship for Performing Artists. She will be attending Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, majoring in music with a concentration in violin performance. She was a member of the Philly Sinfonis, won the honors strings award of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, and passed auditions at various festivals, such as Kinhaven Music, Interlochen, and Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis Institute. Her future plans include building a performance resume by competing in solo and chamber competitions, such as the Tchaikovsky Competition held in Russia once every four years, and eventually to perform with a major urban orchestra. She also hopes to become a member of Project Music Heals Us, which performs for prisons, hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes around the globe.

Elizabeth Shekhterman received support from NVMT through the Joseph J. McGlade Memorial Scholarship Fund. Shewill attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, focusing on theatre production and lighting design. Among her goals is to become familiar with concert and architectural lighting technology and to pursue high rigging and design. She has been active in the Neshaminy High School Dramatics program for three years and is a member of an award-winning group of Neshaminy High School theatre students called the Roadies for which she has served as lighting technician, lighting designer, and stage crew leader. She notes that theatre and dramatics have offered her the opportunity to gain skills that are life-long and irreplaceable. She hopes to be able to promote and support the arts after graduation and throughout her career.

“NVMT’s scholarship grant program has been one of the most positive and rewarding forces behind the success of our theatre group for more than a half century,” stated Tom Urquhart, president of the organization. “While we strive for excellence in our stage productions, it is always with the objective of providing funds for our scholarship grants in order to support deserving young people such as these in their quest to achieve their dreams. We’ve been most proud of our recipients and truly happy to have been able to help them!”

NVMT is a nonprofit scholarship organization offering competitive grants since its founding in 1956 to students graduating from the Neshaminy School District and planning to study the fine and performing arts in college. The organization mounts an annual musical, the proceeds from which go into a scholarship fund. Generous donors have also contributed to build the fund. To date, NVMT has awarded over $157,000 in scholarships.

The application process for 2021 scholarships, open to graduating seniors of Neshaminy High School, will be available next spring.

For more information on Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre and its scholarship program, visit nvmt.org, or email nvmt@verizon.net or call 215-860-1584.

PHOTO CAPS: 1. Molly Coughlin

2. Nathalie Hernandez

3. Elizabeth Shekhterman

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