Local students named JMArts Summer Scholars

jm arts summer

From left to right: Jordan Dwyer, Michael Vasquez, Allie Hayhurst, Orlando Benitez, Konner Williams and Jasmine Brower.

Siler City, NC – Attending summer camp can be a life-changing experience for any student, but especially for those whose passion is the visual or performing arts. For five Jordan-Matthews High School students, that life-changing experience is just around the corner.

Orlando Benitez, Jasmine Brower, Allie Hayhurst, Michael Vasquez and Konner Williams have been named Summer Scholars by JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, each receiving a scholarship to study choral music, band or visual art. A sixth student, Jordan Dwyer, also was selected, but was not able to accept the award due to job demands.

“This is the fourth year we have been able to help students have arts-intensive summer experiences,” said JMArts president Rose Pate. “Because of the generosity of our donors, we are thrilled to continue to provide this opportunity for the JM family.”

Three of the scholarships will go to rising sophomores, two to visual artists and one to a vocalist.

“Allie and Michael will be attending the Summer Studio at The Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham,” said Pate. “Allie has a passion for photography and will enroll in the Digital Photography Workshop, while Michael will explore the possibilities of animation in the Media Arts and Animation Workshop.”

Williams, another rising sophomore, will develop her vocal music skills at the UNC High School Music Camp in Chapel Hill. “Konner has been active in both our school musical and in our chorus class,” said Pate. “We look forward to hearing her share what she learns at the UNC camp.”

Brower, a rising junior, will attend the ECU Summer Vocal Music Intensive Camp. “Jasmine has been very committed to our chorus and musical theater programs,” said Pate. “She’s hoping to explore the possibility of studying music at the college level during this camp at East Carolina.”

Benitez is the lone instrumentalist. The rising senior and trumpet player will attend the UNCG Summer Music Camp. “Orlando is a veteran of the UNCG camp and knows how it will challenge him,” said Pate. “He is looking forward to that challenge, and to becoming a better musician.”

Since being launched, the JMArts’ Summer Scholar program has awarded 27 scholarships to 20 students, with some receiving awards to study over more than one summer. It was designed to help young artists develop their talent, explore artistic options before making college decisions and bring what they learn back to share with other Jordan-Matthews students.

Pate said the foundation couldn’t be happier with the students’ success.. “Living and working with other students who share their passions brings a whole new dimension to our students’ artistic and musical development,” she said. “Also, it helps them step up and become leaders in our arts programs during the school year.”

For more information about JMArts, including details about the camps students will attend, visit jmarts.org.