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Each year, the College celebrates the achievements of students with a number of awards at Honors Convocation. This year, students and faculty members gathered via Zoom to present awards and mark the occasion.

Here is an overview of the top three music awards, including Outstanding Gospel Choir Student, Chorister of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year.

Outstanding Gospel Choir Student

The Outstanding Gospel Choir Student scholarship award is given to the student who shows exceptional dedication to the Gospel Choir both musically and academically. This year’s recipient is David Smith, a rising sophomore business major from Lansing. David has spent countless hours providing support for both ensembles in the Gospel Talent Program. Outside of his own drumming responsibilities, David assumed responsibility for setting up and maintaining audio and musical equipment, attended rehearsals to provide instrumental mentorship and support fellow choir members at engagements he was not required to attend. David was often the first to arrive and the last to leave. He has worked hard during off hours to become a better musician.

“David is a great student. It is rare to find musicians passionate about their craft in the way he is,” Gospel Choir Teaching Assistant Lawrence Mark Trice said. “I can always count on David to do the extra work. Most importantly, I love how he gives the same respect to everyone he’s around. I love his kind-hearted spirit, and I know he has great opportunities ahead of him.”

Chorister of the Year

Each year, the Olivet College Music Program designates one student as the Chorister of the Year. This award is granted to a student who has participated in at least one of the three college choirs and has demonstrated leadership and service to the choir program during the current academic year. The winner is voted on by the membership of all three choirs and verified by the music faculty and staff. The recipient also receives a scholarship that accompanies the award.

The 2020 Olivet College Chorister of the Year Award is Morgan Allen. Morgan is from Battle Creek and studying business administration with a concentration in marketing. She enjoys performing with the Olivet College Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorale. Morgan is a leader in both choirs. She sings with outstanding tone, has fantastic music reading skills, comes to class with a positive attitude and demonstrates vocal independence, all while performing with expression and being a team player. Morgan is an asset to the Olivet College Choral Program and a deserving recipient of this award.

Instrumentalist of the Year

The Instrumentalist of the Year award is presented to the student who best exemplifies the ideal college instrumentalist through dedication and talent and is chosen by their peers. This student is one who may be involved in more than one instrumental ensemble, is always on time to rehearsals, and sets a positive example for their peers in the etiquette and performance standard of the ensembles.

The 2020 Instrumentalist of the Year is awarded to Makennah Rousseau. Makennah is from Belding, and she plays clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, bass in the Jazz Band and Gospel Choir, and clarinet and snare drum in the athletic band. She serves as the concert master of the Wind Ensemble where she is tasked with tuning the ensemble, bringing them on stage and setting decorum for the rehearsal procedures. She is reliable and trusted by her peers in all of the ensembles.

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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