Uncle Al fund offers scholarships to western mountain musicians

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ELLSWORTH – Musicians between the ages of 12 and 30 who reside in Franklin or Somerset County and wish to pursue instruction or musical development on their chosen instrument(s) are invited to apply to the Uncle Al Fund at the Maine Community Foundation.

The scholarship supports further instruction or musical development of musicians who live in Franklin and Somerset Counties and are seeking to expand both their understanding of and skill level on their chosen instrument(s). Preference will be shown to musicians who play acoustic instruments, including “voice.”

The scholarship committee hopes to expand the range of applicants. One past recipient studied violin with a master musician via Skype, a solution that would be appropriate in these challenging times of social distancing. Other grants have been used for tuition in university music and musical theater programs and for tuition for a student to attend a fiddle festival and workshop in Scotland with her Pinelands Suzuki group.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2021. Information and application are available at www.mainecf.org in the scholarship section under Franklin County and Somerset County and aspirational, non-traditional, and camp scholarships.

The fund honors Alexander Sheeran (1938-2014), a musician who lived and played in the Carrabassett Valley for nearly 50 years. Uncle Al was beloved by his friends and neighbors, who set up the fund to pay tribute to his musical spirit, wry wit, and compassionate nature.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport, and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.

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