The 2015 George and Icy Vaughn Performing Arts Scholarship Competition was held April 10th at the HJ Ricks Centre for the Arts. Seven high school seniors representing the four Hancock County high schools performed in the areas of vocal and instrumental music. In years past, the four disciplines of vocal, instrumental, theatrical, and dance competed in a talent show format. This year’s performance categories were reduced in order to better evaluate contestants who were judged against their peers of like discipline while providing impactful scholarship awards.
Emily Burden, of New Palestine High School, won first place for an instrumental performance on her Flute of “Fantaisie” by Hue. Emily was awarded a $4,000 scholarship.
Ben Maynard, from Greenfield-Central High School, was awarded a $3,000 scholarship for his second place instrumental performance on his Trumpet of “Concert Etude” by Alexander Goedicke.
Courtney Cochard, representing Mt. Vernon High School, won a $2,000 scholarship for her Flute performance of “Fantasia in G Major” by G. Teleman which earned her third place.
Tristian Holzhausen, from Eastern Hancock High School, won the vocal category and a $4,000 scholarship for his performance of “The Jolly Roger” by R. Ritchie Robertson.
Marissa Miller, of New Palestine High School, won second place in the vocal category and a $3,000 scholarship for her performance of “The Green Dog” by Herbert Kingsley.
Sara Langerberger, representing Greenfield-Central High School, received third place and a $2,000 scholarship in the vocal category for her performance of “Se Florinda E Fedele” by Alessandro Scarlatti.
Derek Bond, from Mt. Vernon High School, placed fourth in the vocal category and received a $1,000 scholarship for his performance of “Ramantic Fatigue” by Frank Turner.
The seven performers were each awarded an additional $500 scholarship for winning their school-level auditions.
Back by popular demand to the Vaughn Performing Arts Competition was the People’s Choice Award. The recipient of this award was voted on by the audience. Tristian Holzhausen from Eastern Hancock was named the 2015 People’s Choice Winner. Tristian received a one-of-a kind plaque and Eastern Hancock High School will have the honor of displaying the People’s Choice Award trophy, with Tristian’s name engraved, until next year’s competition. Most importantly, the Eastern Hancock Choir program will receive a $500 grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation.
In 1999, HCCF received a generous gift from the estate of George and Icy Vaughn. The couple resided in rural Vernon Township where they tended to their horses. Both enjoyed gardening, canning, and preserving the foods they grew in their gardens. Icy would often write poems and sketch pictures while George enjoyed listening to music. Both had a rich work ethic having retired from Western Electric where George served as president of the union. After Icy passed away, George lived at a health campus where he enjoyed the performances of local high school students who would come to sing and play for the residents. To this end, George left the remainder of his estate to HCCF to establish the George and Icy Vaughn Performing Arts Endowment Fund. Through the Community Foundation’s careful stewardship and administration of the fund, the scholarship awards have grown from a total of $4,000 in 2003 to that of this year’s scholarship awards totaling $25,000.