Press Release: MENC Announces Recipients of Annual Memorial Scholarships

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Announces Recipients of Annual Memorial Scholarships

Caitlin Merie Hurrey Memorial Scholarships Named in Memory of Budding Musician

RESTON, VA (July 6, 2009) — 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: one awarded to a son or daughter of an MENC member who is planning to attend an accredited college or university; one, a professional grant, awarded to a college senior and member of MENC’s Collegiate program; one presented to a son or daughter of an active-duty or retired member of an U.S. armed forces musical ensemble; and one awarded to a high school senior who is planning to attend an accredited college or university and has a personal connection to Huntingtown Elementary School (parent, student, family member, etc.).

McKenna Marie Klontz of Arlington, Virginia is awarded the Caitlin Merie Hurrey MENC Scholarship this year. McKenna is the daughter of MENC members Mary-Hannah and Paul Klontz. She graduated from Washington-Lee High School with a 4.1 GPA. McKenna’s life in high school revolved around her music activities. She was a piccolo player in the Symphonic and Marching Bands, completing her senior year as the drum major and student conductor of these groups. McKenna participated in the Virginia Governor’s School for the Performing Arts as a singer, she was a member and student conductor of the Madrigal Singers, and played the lead role of Maria in The Sound of Music. She was also active in her church youth choir, the Arlington Fine Arts Apprentice Program, and was selected for the very prestigious National Honors Choir of the American Choral Directors Association. McKenna will attend the Ohio State University as a music education major.

The 2009 Caitlin Hurrey Collegiate Professional Achievement Scholarship recipient is Audrey Rome of Williston Park, New York. Audrey is a senior music education major at Long Island University/C.W. Post Campus. Audrey was a very active and community-minded member of her Collegiate MENC chapter. As its most recent President, she initiated new outreach programs, such as Music: Home and Beyond—a program for home-schooled students, and Rainbowtunes, a PreK-16 partnership program in which student teachers teach music to children with special needs in local school districts. A prolific fundraiser, Audrey masterminded several fun and creative events which benefited General Music on a Cart—music in school districts with limited music budgets. These fundraisers helped to purchase Boomwhackers, method books, recorders, and handheld percussion instruments. Audrey will begin her student teaching next semester. The 2009 award is presented in memory of Shannon Kane, a four-year MENC Collegiate member and University of Florida graduate student in music education.

The recipient of the 2009 Caitlin Merie Hurrey Military Scholarship is William Tortolano of Alexandria, Virginia. He is the son of SMSgt Bill and Mary Ann Tortolano, a U.S. Air Force Band member, and a Suzuki string teacher, respectively. Will is a student at Boston University majoring in Music and Film Studies with a GPA of 3.33. Will is a cellist who has worked with young musicians at the New England Music Camp and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra summer camp for the past two summers. He is an active performer, playing in three chamber groups, as well as appearing professionally with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This summer, he is with Windborne Productions learning recording production, and transcribing and arranging original material into music for full orchestra. His career plans include music composition for film and television and recording engineering.

The winner of the 2009 Caitlin Merie Hurrey Huntingtown Scholarship is Molly Wilkerson. Molly is the daughter of Dale and Sandra Wilkerson of Huntingtown, Maryland. She graduated from Huntingtown High School with a 95.18 GPA. While a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Government Association for 2 years apiece, she also contributed to her school through her participation in the Huntingtown High School Chorale, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir. Molly was selected to the All-County and Tri-County choirs for 2 years, as well as 3 years in the Maryland All-State Honors Chorus, MENC’s prestigious 2009 All Eastern Chorus, and the Washington Post Music and Dance Scholarship Awards. She has also shown leadership in her church youth choir, Voices In Praise for 8 years. Molly has played both lead and supporting roles in Huntingtown High School theatre productions. She will attend Montclair State University as a music therapy major.

“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 Merie Hurrey Scholarship page. For more information about MENC, call 1-800-336-3768, or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. 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. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.