Thursday, April 10, 2008

Newspaper Writings

Hope for Mary Lynn: a cello and a scholarship

The Granite Education Foundation presented Cyprus High student Mary Lynn Bennett with a cello last week, giving her hope for a career as a music therapist. Left to right: Principal John Welburn, GEF Executive Director Scott Whipple, Mary Lynn Bennett, Cyprus Instrumental Music Director John McCallister.

By Colin B. Douglas
News Editor

"It gives me hope," Mary Lynn Bennett said.

Last Thursday, Scott Whipple, executive director of the Granite Education Foundation, presented Mary Lynn with a cello at the Cyprus High School office.

Mary Lynn, daughter of Sheri and Stephen Bennett, moved to Magna with her mother and five of her siblings about ten years ago. She started on the cello in fifth grade, at Magna Elementary School. Private lessons were beyond her family's means, but with musically inclined father, She picked up music easily. With instruction from her elementary school teachers and later from junior high teacher, she achieved a degree of proficiency that got her a place in the Granite Youth Symphony Orchestra in only the ninth grade.

Meanwhile, she also learned drums, Irish penny whistle, piano, Bassoon, xylophone/bells, Bass, and Violin.

"I enrolled in orchestra at Cyprus as a sophomore, but I have been unable to since then," she said. "I've always rented school instruments, but there haven't always been enough cellos to go around, now."

Mary Lynn is planning on going to school to be a music therapist.

"This gives me hope," she said. "I didn't have the means to afford such an instrument, and it can really help me on my way to becoming a music therapist."

Whipple said that the GEF is also giving Mary Lynn a scholarship to get her started at SLCC.

Whipple explained that the GEF gives scholarships to give a chance to worthy students, recommended by school officials, who otherwise would not have such an opportunity.

"The GEF consists of 33 board member who focus on helping kids and teachers in the classroom," Whipple said.

The GEF is funded by private donations and fund raising activities, including auctions.