Susie Moscovich and her husband, Michael, started the Virginia Graczak Music Scholarship (VGMS) shortly after relcocating to the region in 2001.
It kind of started in their living room, in fact.
They had a 9-foot Bösendorfer piano and they wanted to put it to use for the good of the community.
So they started a “black tie optional” weekend gala at their home once a year on a Friday and Saturday night – one night in support of the students of School District 72 (Campbell River) and one for School District 71 (Comox Valley).
Over 100 people would flock to the Moscovich’s home in Oyster River to hear the previous year’s recipients of the scholarship perform. Tickets were $75 and the room was always full, Moscovich says. The money went to Friends of Music, who support various music initatives within the community.
It got too big for them to house in their living room, however, and the 2017 scholarship competitions, coming up at the end of April, will be held at Trinity Church on Simms Road.
And for the first time, it’s open to the public.
“We really just wanted to try something new and see how it goes,” Moscovich says. “It being the 15th year we’re awarding the scholarship, the 30th anniversary of the Friends of Music and Canada’s 150th birthday, we thought we’d make it extra special.”
The VGMS voice scholarship competition will be held Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. and will be adjudicated by Craig Tomkins.
The VGMS piano scholarship competition will follow Sunday afternoon, April 30 at 1 p.m. and will be adjudicated by Yvette Rowledge.
Winners of the competitions will be awarded a print by Virginia Graczak’s mother, Margaret, and a $1,000 scholarship award.
Admission to both competitions is by donation and there will be receptions to follow on both days.