The legacy of Will Schwartz, founder of the Fort Collins Symphony and beloved professor of music, lives on in the pursuits of local music students who recently received scholarships in his name.
In 1949, Schwartz founded and then grew a modest community orchestra into a dynamic professional symphony, sharing with the community his passion and belief that beautiful music has a profound and positive effect on the human psyche. As the conductor of the symphony for 50 years, he devoted his professional life to making magnificent musical works available to as many listeners as possible. Today, the Fort Collins Symphony is regarded as one of the premier cultural organizations in the region, and continues to provide the inspiration, solace and joy that Schwartz intended.
In addition to his work with the Symphony, Schwartz also taught violin and conducting to hundreds of Colorado State University students during his long tenure as a professor with the CSU Music department.
At the time of Schwartz’s death in 2010, his family created a scholarship that would honor his passion for music and directly benefit young student musicians. Schwartz’s family, friends, former students and colleagues made generous donations to establish the memorial scholarship in his name totaling nearly $9,000.
Thanks to their wonderful generosity, a number of talented Poudre R-1 high school graduates will begin their freshman year with a special monetary gift—one which was designed to help students pursue the educations they want and in many cases, to make music an integral part of their lives and careers. Each of the four major Fort Collins high schools was represented.
Award recipients include:
Jakob Mueller Fort Collins High School
Olivia Sponsler Fort Collins High School
Shannon Tivona Fort Collins High School
Matthew Weaver Fort Collins High School
Lindsey Deringer Poudre High School
Rose Van Dyne Poudre High School
Catherine Geisenhagen Rocky Mountain High School
Lydia Gonzales Rocky Mountain High School
Jovan Lovato Rocky Mountain High School
Selyne Tibbetts Pagan Rocky Mountain High School
The students who auditioned played a variety of instruments and several were vocalists. They plan to pursue a variety of degrees ranging from marine biology to engineering to musical performance.
The family of Will Schwartz would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the many generous individuals who donated to the scholarship fund and in doing so, are now helping these bright young students pursue their dreams.