NFMC celebrates 71 years at Chautauqua this weekend

This season, 13 School of Music students at Chautauqua have received scholarships thanks to the National Federation of Music Clubs.

For Music School Festival Orchestra oboist Mary O’Keefe, being here wouldn’t be possible without it.

“This was pretty life-changing,” O’Keefe said. “It was such an honor to receive that and come here.”

There are two recitals this weekend featuring NFMC scholarship recipients — a recital at 4 p.m. Saturday in McKnight Hall will present all students who were awarded scholarships this season, and a recital at 5 p.m. Sunday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall will spotlight Tavi Ungerleider, a 2013 NFMC Young Artists competition winner.

The NFMC awards thousands of dollars each year to School of Music students and has done so for the past 71 years, said NFMC Membership and Education Division Chair Ruth Ann McChesney. One stipulation comes with the scholarship — students must participate in a recital. They may play anything of their choice, no longer than five minutes.

“We just ask them to do one or two pieces, a short portion of a recital, so we get to hear the recipients of federation scholarship money,” McChesney said. “And they are wonderful, wonderful musicians of all sorts — vocal as well as instrumental.”

At $15,000, the Young Artist award is the largest prize the NFMC gives out, McChesney said.

“This young man, Tavi Ungerleider, who’s coming to play his cello, is the 2013 winner,” McChesney said. “So we have Tavi coming in; he’ll be presenting this recital at Lenna Hall that we would like to invite the Chautauqua community to come and enjoy.”