This scholarship is given in recognition and in memory of the late Mrs. Bernice B. Chance to a resident of Danbury majoring in music education. The recipient will be a graduate of Danbury High School,entering his or her junior or senior year of college, and require financial assistance. Special consideration will be given to students who show an interest in and a willingness to educate future generations in the historical significance of American music, including Negro Spirituals.
Mrs. Chance was a 2nd soprano in the Brawley High School Glee Club in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, under the direction of world renowned opera singer, Miss Margaret Tynes. Upon moving to Danbury, CT, Mrs. Chance was honored to have met the famous contralto, Miss Marian Anderson in Genung’s Department store in downtown Danbury. During the course of their conversation, Miss Anderson commented, “ . . . of course I know Margaret . . . ”
Mrs. Chance inherited her love for music from her father, the Rev. Blossom Bellamy. One of ten children, the family was very musical and singing hymns was part of her childhood. While in Danbury, she was a member of the Senior Choir at New Hope Baptist Church and sang many solos throughout the years. She passed the gift of music to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, sharing her passion for music with family and friends by singing or reciting words to many hymns until her hospitalization in December 2012. Mrs. Chance died on January 1, 2013.
It is with gratitude that her family honors her memory and her legacy by establishing The Mrs. Bernice B. Chance Memorial Music Scholarship.
The $500 scholarship will be awarded in June.
Applications are due on or before May 16.
An announcement of the winner will be made in June.
Steven was a senior at New Fairfield High School when the accident occurred. He was a member of the New Fairfield Sparklers Drum and Bugle Corps, NFHS Marching Band, The NFHS Chorus, The Danbury Concert Chorus where he often led sectionals, and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Youth Orchestras as principal percussionist in the principal orchestra.
Steven’s interest in music began when he was in middle school and given a recorder. Then, when a sophomore at NFHS he was given a drum kit – a modest jazz kit of bass, tom, snare and rack tom, along with cymbals. He practiced devotedly and in the summer after his sophomore year he attended The Northeast Music Camp in Ware, Massachusetts, and returned for his junior year a better drummer.
In the summer after his junior year he attended the New York State Music Camp & Institute at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York where he studied and learned timpani so well that he was named principal percussionist at GBSYO that fall.
During his senior year he applied for and was accepted as a Counselor-In-Training [CIT] for NYSMC&I for the 1991 summer season.
Steve also applied to and was accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology, Western Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut, University of Hartford – Hartt School of Music.
It is the wish of Steven’s family that this fund be a tribute to his memory and his musicianship.