About · BMC · Student Awards

The values we share enrich our lives and the community

Over the past few months, we reached out to a number of BMC student competition participants, to ask how they were adapting their academic ambitions to the pandemic’s impact. From our Facebook series YOUNG MUSICIANS ON THE MOVE, three of their responses struck a chord. We’re happy to share them with you.

Blaine High School’s Charles Streeter, an accomplished pianist (and young pilot), has grappled with an uncertain college outlook. ”This fall, I plan to study engineering at the University of British Columbia, and hopefully start my instrument flight training,” he told us. “I’ll continue my own personal piano studies and take music classes. It looks like my University is going to be mostly online, so I expect to work from home. I believe people will be responsible in protecting vulnerable members of society and ensuring that our hospitals do not run short of resources.”

Leigh Hjelmseth, recently of Bellingham High School, will be continuing her flute studies at Iowa’s Luther College. “The pandemic has spooked me a little bit, but I’m holding out hope that I will be able to go to college in person in the fall,” she said. “The stay-at-home order came at an unfortunate time in my life, but it has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve had more time to prepare for college and learning new pieces. I have also been recording music with some of my friends, which has been a new and cool experience.”

Jaechan Lee is making the leap from Sehome High School to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he plans to major in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, while pursuing his cello study at the prestigious Peabody Institute. “As of now, there’s some ambiguity around in-person classes,” he said. “I obviously won’t have the same musical, academic and social experiences if classes are online. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but ultimately everyone’s health is much more important. With the current stay-at-home situation, I haven’t been able to engage in the collaborative aspects of music, so I’ve been practicing a lot on my own and playing together with my younger brother, who is also a cellist. I’ll be ready to jump into group playing when it’s safe to do so again!”

Even in these brief responses, human values stand out: Musical excellence. Self-improvement. Perseverance. Family. Collaboration. Community and societal concern. These are the kind of students we support with your help. Over our century of history, we have awarded more than $100,000 to young musicians like these, while deepening the musical richness of our community.

Thank you for valuing the BMC! You make it possible for us to assure young musicians that we stand with them – with professional guidance, with performance opportunities, and with financial support. You are keeping music thriving and young musicians striving in Bellingham!