A young man from Campbell River has been awarded the 2011 Keen Halleran Memorial Scholarship. Matthew Blackburn is the second recipient of the scholarship, given to a student studying music at the post-secondary level.
The Keen Halleran Scholarship was first established in May 2003 as the Halleran Scholarship by Frances Keen (1955-2006) in recognition of her high school band/choir and piano teachers, Noreen and Mickey Halleran of Quesnel, B.C. Unfortunately, Keen passed away before she could finish her project. When the project was completed Keen’s name was added to the scholarship in recognition of her work as an elementary choir and band teacher, as a community choir director and as an advocate of music education in the community.
Blackburn, the son of Dale and Oda Blackburn, grew up in Campbell River where he studied piano with Shelley Roberts and advanced theory with Sandy Havelaar. Blackburn received an Associate of the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 2007, then continued his studies at the University of Lethbridge receiving his Bachelor of Music in 2009. Blackburn is currently studying at the University of Calgary working towards a Master of Music in piano performance.
This award is open to students who have studied for a minimum of one year in school district 72 Campbell River and must be a full-time student who has completed at least the first year of an undergraduate degree in music or is in a postgraduate degree program in music.
Koyla Kowalchuk from Campbell River was winner in 2009. He is in his last year at McGill University in Montreal.