Concerts are only one way the Waxahachie Symphony Association gives back to the community. Another is by awarding scholarships to deserving graduating seniors in Ellis County.

The purpose of the awards is to encourage musical growth and achievement in Ellis County as well as to recognize students who show musical talent and accomplishments.

Teachers select nominees, or a student can apply and request a teacher’s recommendation. Private music teachers can nominate applicants. In addition to the teacher’s recommendation, students are required to go through an interview process, evaluation of citizenship and their solo performances.

The scholarships are make available in part through funding provided by season subscribers, corporate underwriting and individual donors.

There are two categories, “Instrumental” and “Vocal.” First place winners receive a $1,000 scholarship.

All students who audition are outstanding and that makes it tough for the judges to make their selections. The judges, who are professional musicians, say that all the students are winners. The first place winners perform their solos at one of the season’s concerts.

This years winners are:

Casey Thibodaux, vocalist, a senior from Midlothian High School. Casey has performed in many of the high school musical activities, He is a member of the high school a cappella choir and the Men’s Chorus. He would like to perform on Broadway one day. For the concert, Casey will sing “Non Passo Disperar,” Giovanni Bononcini.

The son of Chase and Teresa Thibodaux, Casey will attend the University of Oklahoma and major in musical theatre.

Haley Jo Nutt, percussionist, will play a marimba solo. Haley Jo is a senior at Waxahachie High School. She has been top band percussionist all four years of high school, drum major of the marching band and won All-State percussionist.

For the concert she will play “Monograph IV,” Richard Gipson.

Haley Jo is the daughter of Christi Nutt. Haley Jo will attend Texas Christian University and major in Music Education.

Victoria Guajardo, flutist, is a senior at Waxahachie High School. She is in the band, the Wind Ensemble, a two year All-State winner, Most Outstanding Soloist Award at State Solo and Ensemble. For the concert, she will play “Syrinx,” Claude Debussy.

Victoria is the daughter of Oscar and Lucy Guajardo, She will attend Sam Houston State University and major in Instrumental Performance.