Sycamore Music Boosters awards scholarships for 2020

SYCAMORE – Despite the disruption the coronavirus pandemic has caused in education, the Sycamore Music Boosters is offering some financial help to college-bound students via scholarships awarded in May.

Shelly Bychowski, co-chair of the Sycamore Music Boosters scholarship committee, said that applications were down this year.

“We still wanted to be able to award at least one scholarship to a band student, a choir student, and an orchestra student,” Bychowski said in a news release. “Working with music faculty and the Sycamore Music Boosters, we were able to identify some deserving candidates.”

Sycamore Music Booster scholarship winners are Robert Carpenter, Kelsey Mulligan and Clara Biletzky.

Carpenter, a percussionist, has been in choir, band and orchestra in middle and high school. Awards and accomplishments in middle school include participation in the North Central Junior Conference Concert Band competition and the Illinois Music Education Association All-District Concert Band. In high school, Carpenter placed in Division I in the Illinois High School Association in his junior year, and in Division II freshman, sophomore and senior years.

Carpenter will attend Kishwaukee College in the fall.

Mulligan has played viola and piano in Sycamore orchestra groups since the fourth grade. She was a member of Sycamore Jazz Strings for six years. In high school, she was in the Sycamore choir program, pit orchestra, and String Quartet.

Mulligan has captured numerous musical awards, including the winning the viola competition of the Sycamore High School Senior Concerto Competition. She also has gained accolades at Illinois Music Education Association competitions, serving as fourth chair in 2016, second chair in 2017 and 2019, principal in 2018, All-State Orchestra and Honors All-State Orchestra.

Mulligan will attend Wheaton College in the fall, where she will play viola for the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra.

Biletzky, who sings mezzo soprano, has been in choir all through high school, including being part of Orchesis and Madrigals. She has garnered multiple music honors, including being selected for the Illinois Music Education Association Regional and All State chorus, and membership in the National American and Regional American Choral Directors Association. She was selected for the 2019 NACDA Collegiate Honor Choir.

Besides her musical accomplishments, Biletzky is a member of the National Honors Society, Key Club, Student Council and Yearbook. She will attend Illinois State University this fall.

In addition to scholarships awarded by the Music Boosters, Kirk Lundbeck, a 1976 SHS graduate and acclaimed trombonist for multiple symphony orchestras, established the Lundbeck Family Scholarship in 2012. Lundbeck determines and funds the scholarship based on applications submitted to and reviewed by the Music Boosters.

The Lundbeck Family Scholarship winner for 2020 is Brett Harris. He has been a member of the SHS Marching Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra and has garnered multiple awards, including the 2020 SHS Senior Concerto Competition Winner. He will attend Illinois State University in the fall.

Two other scholarships awarded to current college students are also available. The application form is on the Sycamore Music Boosters website at The deadline to apply is July 10.

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