Press Release: Annual Caitlin Memorial Scholarships Announced

Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Scholarships Named in Memory of Budding Musician

RESTON, VA (July 30, 2008) — Four recipients were named in the annual Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Scholarship awards, established as part of the Fund for the Advancement of Music Education (FAME) of MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Caitlin Hurrey was nine years old and in the fourth grade at Huntingtown Elementary School in Huntingtown, Maryland when she died. She loved to play in the band, sing in the chorus, and wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.

The Caitlin Scholarship Fund provides four scholarships each year. The first is awarded to a high school senior who is planning to attend an accredited college of university and has a personal connection to Huntingtown Elementary School (parent, student, family member, etc.). The next is awarded to a son or daughter of an MENC member who is planning to attend an accredited college or university. The third is a professional grant awarded to a college senior and member of MENC’s Collegiate program. A fourth scholarship is presented to a son or daughter of an active-duty or retired member of an U.S. armed forces musical ensemble.

The recipient of the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Huntingtown Scholarship is John Wahl, son of John and Patti Wahl, of Huntingtown, Maryland. An alumna of Huntingtown Elementary, graduated from Huntingtown High School in May of this year with a cumulative grade point average of 99.04%. John has been involved in many different aspects of theatre, involving lighting design, sound operation and other behind the scenes work and on stage performances. He is a member of the International Thespian Society, and the National Honor Society, as well as being a National Merit Commended Scholar. John will attend the University of Maryland in the fall. As his Social Studies Instructor, Mary Eileen Casey states, “the most impressive components of John’s vitae are the incredible artistic, creative, and community involvement activities he has accomplished.”

The recipient of the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial MENC Scholarship is Sarah Ellis, the daughter of Barry and Terri Ellis, of Platteville, WI. Her father and mother are both members of MENC. Sarah graduated from Platteville High School this year ranking 1st in a class of 117. Sarah is an accomplished musician and performer, being the principal clarinet for the Dubuque Youth Symphony Orchestra and has won awards for her vocal jazz and chorus participation and performed in many high school musical productions. Mark Dorn, Producer of “Kids from Wisconsin” and Associate Professor of Music at Colorado Christian University writes, “In my 25 years of teaching and producing shows with some of the finest young talent in America, I can confidently say that Sarah is on the short list of the top 10 performers and musicians I’ve knows at this age. I believe her to be in the top 1% of all students I have worked with.” Sarah plans to study music theatre at Pennsylvania State University.

The recipient of the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Collegiate Scholarship is Stacy Larson, a recent graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, where she earned her music education degree and was a member of Collegiate MENC. In addition to being vice president of the chapter for the past two years, she was instrumental in creating and organizing the now-annual Wartburg “I Love Music Day,” a festival that partners Wartburg music education majors with 3rd and 4th grade students from surrounding communities. Dr. Jane Andrews, Professor of Music and Collegiate MENC Chapter Advisor writes, “Working with Stacy is a treat due to her passion for teaching, her excellent writing skills, and her desire to involve everyone in a positive manner. She represents the ‘best’ in the qualities we need in music educators.” Stacy. This coming fall, Stacy has a job teaching elementary vocal music in Mason City, Iowa.

The recipient of the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Military Music Scholarship is Joshua Paul Murtha. Joshua’s father is a member with United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Joshua has been a member of his high school Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Joshua is currently attending University of North Texas and studies jazz studies. He is a past recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, an active member in his church youth organization and music program, and has performed at several venues in his hometown. Douglas Armstrong, Director of Bands at Mountain View High School writes, “I have found him to be a very capable young musician with a talent and ability that far exceeds his peers.”

“I am delighted and very thankful to MENC for supporting Caitlin’s scholarship fund. This scholarship fund will honor Caitlin’s name and provide needed financial assistance to students for many years to come,” says Earl Hurrey, MENC Deputy Executive Director and Caitlin’s father.

For more information on the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Scholarship Fund, or to make a donation, visit the Caitlin Scholarship Web site. For more information about MENC, call 1-800-336-3768, or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, celebrates its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members and supporters represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.