On Saturday, March 23rd, music major Laurel Weir was awarded the first place scholarship from Tuesday Musical Club’s Arden J. Yockley Scholarship competition for voice. Students from Ohio’s biggest conservatories gathered at the University of Akron’s Guzzetta Hall in hopes of winning the scholarship. After her performance brought her judge to tears, Weir was awarded this honor.
Laurel realized her passion for music performance after studying under the direction of Cynthia Wohlschlager. It was through Wohlschlager’s
encouragement that she decided to return to Malone for a fifth year to complete a degree in music performance in addition to her communication arts degree, which she earned in the spring of 2012.
Laurel never imagined having a career in music performance, but is grateful for the opportunities with which God has blessed her.
“I just started singing seriously two years ago and I got first in the state,” Laurel said. “I know it’s not me; I know it is only through God.”
Laurel greatly credits Malone’s professors—both in the music and communication arts departments—for helping her achieve these accomplishments. Weir’s integration of her faith and talent is evident to those around her.
“It is a delight to have [Laurel] in class. She is very talented and she works hard. She is very humble before her Lord,” professor of music Dr. Jesse Ayers said.
Not only does Laurel view her talent as a gift from God, she views it as a way to bring God glory.
“Through opera, I have been able to talk more about God’s goodness than through any other thing I have ever done,” Laurel said.
This summer, Laurel has the opportunity to use her vocal talents in Europe, both through studying and performing.
“God is so good,” Laurel said. “I am so undeserving.”
Laurel’s mom, Nicki Weir, said, “I have always known she was capable of doing wonderful things. I am just thankful to the Lord for bringing it out. I always wanted other people to realize there is something special about my daughter and it is nice to see that people see that.”
Laurel intends to use the scholarship money to fund her summer in Europe where she will be performing with Malone’s Chamber Choir as well as studying in Austria through the Miami Frost School of Music in Salzburg.
While in Europe, Laurel will be spending time serving with missionaries in Ireland. Upon returning from Europe, Weir plans to attend graduate school in the fall.
On Friday, April 12th, Laurel will be having a benefit concert to fund her trip to Europe. The concert will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton at 7:30 p.m.
Megan McAbee is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.