CHAMBERSBURG — CASHS Junior Kohl Pilgrim was presented with the Margaret Weeks Scholarship for Vocal Performance for 2019 at a special Recognition Concert Sunday at the Inn at Ragged Edge.
Sponsored by the Cumberland Valley School of Music, the annual award carries with it a $250 scholarship for lessons at CVSM.
Kohl is a student of Chambersburg native Corey Evan Rotz, a tenor with the Wasshington National Opera.
Weeks daughter, Kimberly, presented the scholarship award to Kohl immediately following his solo performance mid-way through the concert.
The scholarship is named after the late Margaret Weeks, who was the first local teacher to sign on as a staff member when CVSM began nearly 30 years ago.
It provides Kohl with $250 towards lessons at CVSM for the upcoming semester.
Weeks, known affectionately as “Peggy” or “Peg” to those close to her, taught voice lessons privately for 40 years.
When the Cumberland Valley School of Music was founded in Chambersburg in 1990, she was the first local voice teacher to respond to the invitation to join the staff.
Touching the Lives of Students
She touched the lives of many students and their families before retiring in 2005.
In 1998, CVSM honored Peg with the Bravissimo Award, in recognition of her considerable contribution to the local arts community over a lifetime of service.
Peg was an active member of Chambersburg Community Theater and sang in the Chambersburg Community Chorus as well as in choirs at Corpus Christi, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, and St. John’s UCC.
She was 86 when she died in 2010.
Looking at a Musical Career
This year’s scholarship recipient is a native of Chambersburg and a Junior at Chambersburg Area Senior High School with big dreams for the future.
Those plans will include music, he said.
“Music means everything to me,” Kohl Pilgrim said. “It drives me, and inspires me.”
Pilgrim might have his eye on a career in musical theater on Broadway, but that doesn’t mean be will skip college. .
Still, his college choice will be dictated by his love of music and theater.
He has his eye on the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, a visual and performing arts school based in Philadelphia. Its campus makes up part of the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, the Margaret Weeks scholarship insures that he will be able to continue his studies with Rotz at CVSM, a professional who has mentored Pilgrim, encouraged him and pushed him to develop his talent.
Combining an Operatic Career With Teaching
Rotz, a professional tenor who has enjoyed success on the opera stage, was once a student of Margaret Weeks.
Pilgrim is the first of his students to win the annual Weeks scholarship.
He said Pilgrim is exactly the kind of student the scholarship is designed to help.
“She wold have loved a kid like Kohl,” he said. “He’s a hard worker and vey committed.”
On Sunday, Pilgrim managed to keepfourcmmittmments in different places around town.
He started his day at the Young Playwrites Festival at the Capitol Theatre, then rushed to the Inn at Ragged Edge in time to sing a solo at the Recognition Concert and receive the eels scholarship award.
Rotz was waiting at the Inn for his star student to witness the award ceremony. Then he and Kimberly Weeks went to First United Methodist Church, where Pilgrim was participating in the CASHS Choristers concert.
Pilgrim ended his day back at the Young Paywrites Festival at the Capitol.
The Margaret Weeks scholarship was established in 2005 with money raised with a concert in her honor, the “Peg Of Our Hearts” tribute to her lifetime commitment to the local arts community.
On Sunday, Pilgrim didn’t miss the significance of the award, and the woman who inspired it.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It inspires me to work harder and reach higher.”