(Courtesy Heywood Music)

Local music students receive state, national awards

By Patrick Lynn

Stevens Point — Several local music students, including Ella Bord, Claire Lawrence, Abigail Pettis, Isabelle Francis, and John Jazdzewski, were honored with state and national awards earlier this month, recognizing their dedication and achievements in music study.

The students, all pupils of Gail Heywood at Heywood Music Studios, received the Music Teachers National Association Achievement Award for completing a series of rigorous goals, including community service projects, advanced music history study, and composing original pieces. The recipients were Hannah Faust, Isabelle Francis, Samantha Francis, Arianna Jazdzewski, Ava Jazdzewski, John Jazdzewski, Sophia Kinsella, Marina Kubisiak, Claire Lawrence, Norah Lawrence, Alex Sheets, Elliot Victory, and Payton Vollendorf.

Bord, Lawrence, and Pettis received the 5-Year Music Study award, while Francis and Jazdzewski earned the 10-Year Music Study award.

In addition, several students received awards for their participation in the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association auditions held in March, including Claire Lawrence, Samantha Francis, Arianna Jazdzewski, Ava Jazdzewski, John Jazdzewski, Norah Lawrence, Oliver Peterson, Abigail Pettis, and Payton Vollendorf.

Heywood Music Studios, a local piano, guitar, and voice studio, emphasizes a comprehensive approach to music education, fostering not only technical skills but also a deep appreciation for music. Gail Heywood, a nationally certified teacher of music with a master’s degree in music education, expressed pride in her students’ accomplishments.

“I was overwhelmed by the energy and enthusiasm the students had to complete their goals,” Heywood said. “These young musicians are an inspiration to the community.”

Elliot Victory, a student at Heywood Music Studios, received the studio’s “Outstanding Achievement Award” for 2024, recognizing his exceptional musical understanding and ability to learn independently.

The awards ceremony celebrated the students’ hard work and dedication, highlighting the importance of music education in fostering creativity, discipline, and a lifelong love of music.