COD names Belushi Music Scholarship winners

  • Heather Vrsek of Lemont

    Heather Vrsek of Lemont

COD News Bureau
Updated 3/4/2011 7:57 PM

College of DuPage music students Kirsten O'Donnell of Aurora and Heather Vrsek of Lemont are the recipients of this year's John Belushi Memorial Music Scholarships.

The award, established in 1983 in memory of the late actor, comedian, entertainer and COD alumni, provides $1,000 for tuition, fees or books for the spring semester.


O'Donnell, a freshman, is a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School and currently is studying vocals with Jennifer Finch. After graduation, the 18-year-old plans to pursue a music degree.

"I found that I was a strong singer my senior year of high school when I finally auditioned for some groups," O'Donnell said. "Singing has become such a part of who I am -- I love to sing."

In addition to her studies, O'Donnell performs with a number of groups, including the College's Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, DuPage Chorale and New Classic Singers.

Vrsek, a freshman, is a graduate of Lemont High School and currently is studying percussion. After graduation, the 19-year-old plans to pursue a degree in jazz studies.

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"I've tried plenty of other instruments before but I've always come back to the drums," she said. "I heard a lot of good things about the music program at COD and I wasn't ready to go to a university yet. This turned out to be a great fit for me."

After receiving her first drum kit at age 12, Vrsek has spent countless hours practicing. She's played with a few bands and recently formed a new, yet unnamed, project.

"I'm just having such a great time and I have to say how great the teachers are and how supportive they are of their students," she said. "They really want you to succeed."

For more information on the Belushi Scholarship and other scholarships available at the College, call (630) 942-2251 or visit