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Olivia McKeown, is an 8-year-old fiddle player, and this year’s recipient of both the Dick Laird scholarship in addition to a Seven Mountains Bluegrass Association award.  Olivia is a second-year student with Sarah Williams Larsen, and is enrolled in both private lessons as well as the “Little Fiddlers” group session.  Olivia shared the following in her application: “Violin is important to me because I get to hang out with new friends through music and hang out with Ms. Sarah.  I see violin as part of my life, it helps me learn and meet new people.  I really love fast Irish fiddling and ‘Go Tell Aunt Rhody’, is my favorite song!”

Hadley McLaughlin, who is 8 years old, is continuing to work with Deanie Richardson.  I had the honor of attending Hadley’s recent ‘Grand Ole Opry’ themed birthday party recently.  Hadley and I discussed the virtual lessons that she is taking and how that is working for her (she is on year two of lessons with Deanie), and she shared that it “works great”.  She also was cautious not to pick too much during her party because her, “fiddle was all tuned up and ready for her lesson the next day with Miss Deanie, and she did not want anything to happen to the tuning!”  Hadley is awarded the Ed Henry scholarship.

Eliza Mood is 13 years old and studies with local fiddle player and concertmaster of the Central Pennsylvania Symphony, player Joe McAnulty. She will be receiving the SMBA scholarship this year.