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BPC student in running for Mozart scholarship
Elizabeth “Liz” Nichols
By Kelley Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College sophomore, Elizabeth “Liz” Nichols, is a finalist in a state-wide scholarship competition to study at the Universität Mozarteum Salburg in Austria this summer.
The college’s principal chair flutist is one of seven finalists selected by the Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta to compete for the $4,000 prize, which covers the cost of summer tuition at the prestigious European university. This is a significant achievement, not only for Nichols but for Brewton-Parker’s music division.
“Very few musicians are awarded this top honor and no Brewton-Parker music student has ever placed among the finalists,” said Dr. Armenio Suzano Jr., associate professor of music (woodwinds) and Nichols’ instructor. “This puts Brewton-Parker’s name right along side other universities of significantly higher enrollment, size and resources than Brewton-Parker’s.”
Nichols’ 20-minute entry CD of her performing one piece by Mozart, and the rest filled with contrasting pieces secured her placement in the final competition, continued Suzano.
“Unlike other competitions of the same genre, the Pro-Mozart Society’s competition is open to both students and professionals, as long as the professionals are still enrolled in a graduate or post-graduate program somewhere. Liz is one of the youngest finalists in this year’s competition, and the fact that some of the other finalists are already teachers speaks volumes about the focus and determination that she has displayed to reach the competition finals,” he said.
The finals will be held Sunday, Feb. 25 in a church in Atlanta. Hopefully, the non-secular location will add some divine inspiration for the BPC music performance major as she competes against the six other finalists, all of whom represent the best in their chosen field.
“All musicians compete with each other regardless of instrument or voice range, which makes for a substantially more challenging playing field,” said Suzano. “She will be competing against pianists, one clarinetist and several singers.”
“Talk about a jamboree championship match where Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Sammy Sosa, Dale Earnhardt, Tiger Woods and Andre Agassi would all be competing for the same prize!”
Nichols is looking forward to the competition with an almost equal mix of trepidation and adventure.
“It’s very intimidating but also incredibly exciting,” she said, with her eyes widening and a broad smile on her face. “It’s a big honor. I almost can’t believe I made it to the finals.”
Nichols, who aspires to be a professional flutist one day, plans to attend grad school with her husband, Stephen Nichols, after she graduates. Both will study for a master’s in music performance. Stephen, a 2006 BPC graduate, is the pianist for Grace Baptist Church in Vidalia.
Nichols began playing the flute in sixth grade, and continued through her senior year at Glynn Academy. She started private lessons with Mrs. Ann Law of Brunswick the summer of her sophomore year, and is now a student of Suzano. She is a member of the college’s woodwind quintet, community wind ensemble and is alto section leader for its concert choir.
The daughter of Dawn Roberts of Brunswick, she is a member of Blythe Island Baptist Church, also in Brunswick.