Area performing arts students earn Dennis Taylor Scholarships
The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts announced the recipients of its scholarship awards for the 2020-21 school year. These scholarships benefit postsecondary students from Chicago's Western suburbs who have declared a major in the performing arts and demonstrated a passion for performance.
This year's winners include Elaysa Emmerich, Tim Hommowun, Maggie Kinney and Mary Emma Zimmerman from St. Charles; Bailey Cates from Elburn; Marteena Mendel-Duckins from Elgin; Elizabeth Sullivan from Lake in the Hills; Annabelle Mique from Streamwood; Michele Gurrieri from Schaumburg; and Parker Morley of Lombard.
• Elaysa (Lasey) Emmerich of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate of St. Charles East High School, where she played violin in various orchestras. She also performed with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and in pit orchestras for Marquee Youth Stage and the Kaneland Arts Initiative. In the fall, she will be studying both music performance and business at Bradley University in Peoria.
• Tim Hommowun of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He studied oboe performance, baroque oboe, secondary clarinet, secondary cello, composition and conducting. His extensive resume includes pit orchestra performances with Eastman Opera Theatre, Vero Voce, and Kaneland Arts Initiative. In the fall, he will be pursuing a Master of Music degree in oboe performance at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
• Maggie Kinney of St. Charles recently graduated from St. Charles North High School, where she participated in choirs and ensembles, plays and musicals. Her extensive performance resume also includes shows with Children's Theatre of Elgin, Vero Voce, and Fox Valley Youth Theatre. In the fall, she will be majoring in jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami-Frost School of Music.
• Mary Emma Zimmerman of St. Charles is a 2020 graduate of St. Charles North High School, where she studied vocal and instrumental music. She participated in three choirs, marching band, and wind ensemble and appeared in madrigals, musicals and theater productions all four years. She has taken private voice and trumpet lessons and appeared on the Marquee Youth Stage for 10 years, most notably as Princess Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress." In the fall, she will be pursuing a double major in theater and biology at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.
• Bailey Cates of Elburn is a recent graduate of Kaneland High School in Maple Park. She has been an instrumentalist since the age of 5, starting with piano and moving on to guitar and trumpet. At Kaneland High School, she played in the concert band, jazz band and pit bands, and sang and played at madrigal dinners. She also played with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and various district and All-State ensembles. In the fall, she will major in trumpet performance at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
• Marteena Mendel-Duckins of Elgin is a 2020 graduate from the Larkin Visual and Performing Arts Academy in Elgin. She has appeared in theatrical productions of "Our Town," "Hairspray," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Fiddler On the Roof" and "The Wizard of Oz." In addition to acting and singing, she dances and plays violin. In the fall, she will study film and acting, with a minor in language translation, at the American University of Paris.
• Elizabeth (Lizzy) Sullivan of Lake in the Hills is a recent graduate of Huntley High School, where she focused on theater and music. Her favorite theater roles included Marci in "Almost, Maine" and Ellen in "Two Rooms." She was also the 2018 Senior Division winner at the McHenry County Fair Talent Contest. This fall, she will be majoring in theater performance at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
• Annabelle Mique of Streamwood is a 2020 graduate of Elgin High School, where she performed in several choirs, musicals and madrigal dinners. She also appeared in "Les Miserables," a U-46 district summer musical. She studied guitar for three years, voice for four years and piano for five years. She is enrolled at DePaul University in Chicago, where she will study arts administration.
• Michele Gurrieri of Schaumburg is a 2020 graduate of Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, where she participated in four years of improv and theater productions. She has also been extremely active with Schaumburg On Stage. There, she played leading roles in numerous productions, including "Newsies" and "Les Miserables," and served as choreographer, stage manager, costume designer, sound designer and operator, and light board operator. She plans to attend Illinois State University in Normal in the fall, where she will pursue a double major in theater and hospitality.
• Parker Morley of Lombard just completed his freshman year at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (Roosevelt University). A 2019 graduate of Glenbard East High School in Lombard, he appeared in seven theatrical productions. He also appeared for three years with Schaumburg Summer Theatre. Parker will return to Roosevelt in the fall to continue work on his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater. In addition to performing, he aspires to be a writer and producer.
The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2018. Taylor served as a dancer, choreographer, costumer, makeup artist, set dresser and wig designer for dozens of suburban theaters for more than 50 years.