Submitted by the Bedford Patrons of Music Students (POMS)

Every year the BHS Music Department honors its graduating seniors with eight scholarships, sponsored by POMS (two each for vocal, band, and orchestra; one Spirit award and one memorial award).

The scholarships were announced and awarded at the BHS Vocal and Instrumental Concerts on May 16 and 22, respectively. Each concert was followed by a dessert reception sponsored by POMS, to honor the scholarship winners and graduating seniors.

Keith Phinney Vocal Award

This scholarship is in honor of Keith Phinney, who was the first Program Director of Music here in Bedford. He held the position for over 25 years until his retirement in June 1988. Mr. Phinney’s vision of what a music program should be, and his work and devotion to make that vision a reality, laid the foundation for the music program that Bedford enjoys today. His efforts to gather support from parents and the community set the tone for the support that has continued over the years. This award is given for outstanding contribution to the choral program. This year’s recipients are Charlie Anderson and Isabelle Gitlin.

William Toland Band Award

This scholarship is in honor and memory of Bill Toland, BHS band director in the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s. Mr. Toland was a dynamic and well-respected music educator who led a strong program here in Bedford, teaching concert band, jazz band, and marching band. This award is given for outstanding contribution to the band. This year’s recipients are Julia Simoneau and Megan Knoedler.

Phil Maffa Orchestra Award

This scholarship was recently renamed to honor the over 20 years of service and commitment Phil Maffa made to building the orchestra program here in Bedford. He raised generations of string players from the mid-1990s until his retirement in 2016. This award goes to recognize the students who make outstanding contributions to the orchestral ensembles. This year’s recipients are Andrew Ha and Nathaniel Kang.

Barry Low “Spirit” Award

The Barry Low Spirit Award was created upon Mr. Low’s retirement in 2006, to honor his 18 years as Program Director of the Music Department. This award is to recognize not only his contribution and legacy but also more importantly to remember his enthusiasm and devotion to the students. This award is given to a student who has shown “spirit” in the performing art of music and theater, and to recognize their enthusiasm and dedication, either on stage, in the pit orchestra, or through backstage support. This year’s recipient is Aidan Duncan.

The C. Emerson Fox Memorial Award

C. Emerson Fox was a longtime resident of Bedford. He was an accomplished pianist and a strong supporter of the Bedford Public School Music Department, making sizable donations to the music program for many years. We remember his kindness and honor his memory with this scholarship in his name. This year’s recipient is Eran Zelixon.

The award recipients will also be noted at this upcoming CSF Awards Night on May 29.

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