Young musicians receive WSA's support

Waxahachie Symphony Association awards scholarships to local performing artists

Daily Light report
Waxahachie Symphony Association award chair Winnie O’Donnell (center) poses with honorees (from left) Evelyn Hernandez, Brogan Sloan, Lilyanna Armstrong and Logan Boyd.

During a year when the performing arts faced challenges beyond measure, the Waxahachie Symphony Association remained committed to supporting Ellis County’s young musicians. 

“The WSA Young Artist Competition offers Ellis County’s young musicians the opportunity to showcase their best efforts, compete for scholarships, and perform as soloists at a WSA performance,” said Melissa Chapman, WSA President. “One of the Waxahachie Symphony Association’s core missions is to motivate, encourage and enhance the musical careers of outstanding young musicians.”

Winnie O’Donnell, the WSA Award Chair, announced the 2021 Young Artist Awards winners at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Performance in May.  Each year, the WSA awards scholarships to outstanding Ellis County Seniors in vocal and instrumental categories.

This year, both first-place winners were from Waxahachie High School: singer Brogan Sloan and clarinetist Lilyanna Armstrong. Following the announcement and introduction of the winners, the audience was treated to performances by the winners. 

Vocal winner Brogan Sloan wowed the audience with her performance of Gabriel Favre’s “Apres un Reve.”  While in high school, Brogan participated in the Chorale, Musical Theater, Varsity and Jazz Choirs.  She placed 6th in the All-State District Choir.  Brogan plans to enter the Nursing Program at Navarro College and participate in their Choir Program as well.  Her parents are Jennifer and Stephen Sloan.

The winner of the instrumental category, Lilyanna Armstrong, gave a stunning performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s “Second Concerto for Clarinet, Mvt. III.” While in high school, Lilyanna was the first student to be selected to All-State Band for four years from Waxahachie.  She participated in the Spirit of Waxahachie Band, was Drum Major for two years, and performed with the Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Jazz Orchestra.  After graduation she plans to study Biology and eventually go to Medical School.  Lilyanna’s parents are Denise and Rich Armstrong.

The WSA awarded $1,500 to each of the first-place winners, and $1,000 each to the second-place winners: Evelyn Hernandez and Logan Boyd.

Evelyn Hernandez is a senior at Red Oak High School.  As a member of the Choir, Evelyn has served as Treasurer and Vice President of the Choir Council.  She has competed in multiple UIL Competitions both as a singer and as a member of the Red Oak Color Guard.  She is also a member of the Student Council and National Honor Society.  Evelyn is the daughter of Michelle and Elias Hernandez.

Oboe player Logan Boyd is a senior at Waxahachie High School.  Logan marched with the Spirit of Waxahachie Band, and performs in the Pit Orchestra for Musical Theater.  He was the top Oboist at WHS for three years and was selected for TMEA All-State Band for two years.  After graduation he plans to major in Music, perform, and possibly go into Music Education.  His parents are Sharon and Jeremy Boyd.