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News Feature

Originally published in Compass, June 19, 2014
Sponsor a local student
Annual Bud Carter Concert celebrates young musicians and raises funds

On Sunday, June 22, at 7 p.m. at the Stonington Opera House, the 23rd annual Bud Carter Music Scholarship Benefit Concert provides an opportunity for attendees to sponsor a young local musician, while raising funds for music lessons, instruments, music summer camps, and more.

“New advances in brain research demonstrate that there are few better ways to advance executive brain function and development than through the study of music. As presented at the Neuroscience 2013 conference, musical training increases brain volume and strengthens communication between brain areas. Playing an instrument changes how the brain interprets and integrates a wide range of sensory information, and music education has been shown to improve the memory functions critical to learning math and other subjects. The students who take music lessons perform better in academic subjects across the board than their peers,” a press release reports.

The concert highlights winners from the past two years. Opera House Arts and the Bud Carter Memorial Scholarship Committee are pleased to announce this year’s winners: Emma Plummer, saxophone; Rachel Shepard, percussion; Trevor Cochrane, percussion; Justine Rhys, guitar/vocals; Hazel Woodward, guitar/vocals; Brendan Penfold, piano; Amy Hardy, vocals/piano; and Benjamin Penfold, piano. Last year’s winners who will be performing are SooZin Cha, flute, and Rylee Eaton, violin.

Launched in 1991, the Bud Carter Memorial Scholarship Fund creates equity for local students who might otherwise not be able to afford lessons and instruments by distributing funds to all students who audition. The Bud Carter Memorial Scholarship Committee members also provide advice and oversight regarding instructors and instruments. The annual concert not only showcases the talent of the young winners but also is the sole source of funding for these scholarships. Scholarships this year are also being provided by the generosity of the Tony and Noi Garland Scholarship Program of the Island Education Foundation.

“Bud Carter loved to sing, and this scholarship and memorial concert, which assist and showcase young island talent, are great tributes to Bud,” said Frank Gotwals, a Stonington singer-songwriter who played with Carter. “One of our recent winners recently said the money had changed her life. Not many scholarships have such direct and immediate impact.”

Tickets to the event are by free will offering. Those interested in sponsoring a young musician can also sign up at the concert, or contact For more information call the Opera House at 367-2788 or visit