Junior Olivia Coxon was granted the prestigious Spinella Scholarship which allows her to pursue her love for music further with a program that exposes her to the inner workings of Broadway.
The Spinella scholarship – in its second year – allows musicians to pursue their love for music through a scholarship up to $1,000. The scholarship is meant to honor Joseph Spinella, a talented drummer, artist, well-rounded student and Kingswood Oxford graduate who tragically passed away of a brain aneurysm in the spring of 2016.
The scholarship describes that the “Spinella’s want to support a Kingswood Oxford student looking to increase their own knowledge and abilities as performers.” It is open to all current Kingswood Oxford students (forms three to five).
“I wanted to apply for this scholarship because I have had so much involvement in music at KO and wanted to focus even more on my love for music outside of the KO community,” Olivia said.
In order to apply, students need to accentuate their experience and passion for music through a paragraph explaining what their accomplishments are in music and what they have learned from them. The music teachers judge the applicants and look for certain criteria such as students’ accomplishments, programs they have done or are interested in, and how serious are they as a musician.
Competing against a range of applicants throughout the school, Olivia knew she had to make sure her application stood out. In order to do this the multifaceted musician highlighted her involvement in all types of music.
“What makes me stand out is my sheer amount of experience. I do a lot of different types of music, not just theater, but also choral and A Cappella. I’ve also been doing music and theater for practically my whole life, which makes me a unique applicant,” Olivia said.
In the KO community Olivia is a part of Oxfordians, Voce, Outlook, Tri-M and she has been involved in the musical for the past three years and plans to do it again her senior year. “Through the many different groups I am involved in, I am able to gain a lot of perspective and learn so many equally important lessons in the different groups that I’m in,” Olivia said.
“I sing with Olivia and during every performance she is always super passionate about whatever we are doing, which shows through her energy,” said sophomore Sophia Kaufman
Her music teacher Todd Millen agreed that her active involvement in musical groups as well as her enthusiasm for music made her stand out amongst other applicants. “Olivia is heavily involved in music in the school. She is a gifted performer and her general enthusiasm for performing arts, how engaging she is and how much she wants to share her love of music with others made her deserving of the award,” he said.
The scholarship allows Olivia to attend a Broadway bootcamp in New York City, where she will get to work with Broadway actors and learn Broadway choreography and music. Mr. Millen said that she will thrive in the program. “I hope that Olivia grows as an artist and takes her performing to another level,” he said.
“I hope that through this program, I can learn more skills for acting/singing and gain more confidence as a performer,” Olivia said.