We are indeed fortunate to have David Rice, a talented and dedicated music student at North Andover High School, as this year’s winner of the Newburyport Choral Society Betty Gillette Scholarship. A review of his impressive record makes it clear that, as he says, his life revolves around music. He is an outstanding tenor sax player who is involved in a wide range of musical activities—Wind Ensemble, the marching band, the Scarlet and Black Singers, the capella club, the pep band, and in the pit for almost every musical the school has performed over the past few years. He also created the school’s first Saxophone Quartet for which he is the leader and arranger of its music. David was accepted into the Massachusetts Northeast District Band for the past two years. This year he was invited into the All-State Concert Band where he was the first-chair tenor saxophone. In the couple of years he has also taken up singing and is a Bass. At the Newburyport Choral Society concert this spring, David was introduced to the Baritone Soloist, internationally known Stephen Salters, who spoke at length with David. In their conversation, Stephen suggested four pieces that David should learn for practice and report back to Stephen, how he liked them. They plan to compare notes later this summer and Stephen and David will plan other pieces together.
The recent death of Betty Gillette makes us all the more aware of her extraordinary commitment to music and to the Newburyport Choral Society. David Rice’s outstanding record of passion for music and his achievements in so many musical activities carries on Betty’s legacy in the finest way. This fall he will enter Syracuse University where he will major in music education. We wish him the very best for a successful career.