Maureen Hennessy and her mother didn't stay to learn the result of her scholarship audition last Friday at Central Methodist University.
Not that she didn't want to. Rather, the William Chrisman High School senior flutist had to get back for all-district band practice.
Hennessy found at soon enough, as she received a text on the drive back from Fayette that she had been one of a handful of prospective freshmen to earn a significant scholarship – $80,000.
Even a week later, she said, “It's kind of overwhelming.”
As for her parents, too, they were “shocked.”
“Not that they thought I couldn't do it,” Hennessy said, “but there's so many kids there that are talented. They were both really, really excited.”
If Hennessy indeed chooses to attend Central Methodist, where her older brother John attends, she would join a family legacy. Two cousins have recently graduated from there, her mother graduated from there and her grandparents met there and graduated.
If nothing else, that familiarity perhaps calmed some nerves as she played her morning audition round, listened to college student recitals, wrote an essay and had another round of playing in the afternoon.
“I know a lot of the professors there, at least in the music department,” she said.
Hennessy has played piano since she was 6 years old, but she didn't pick up the flute until sixth grade. Playing that instrument came quite naturally, though.
“I wanted to try it,” she said. “It's supposed to be one of the hardest instruments to learn, but I picked it up right away.”
She's played in marching and concert bands since, and after a hip injury sidelined her in cross country and will probably keep her off the soccer field, she's focused even more time on music.
In college, she plans to major in elementary or music education. If Hennessy doesn't go the music route, “I still want it to be a part of my life.”
With the scholarship award in hand, Hennessy then took part in the district band, which involves a couple short rehearsals prior and then full day of rehearsal together before the evening concert. Choir has a similar format.
“This district is really hard to get into,” she said.
To play with so many students serious about music and make a whole performance program come together quickly, she added, is “really fun.”
ALL-STATE MUSICIANS: All-state concert band, choir and orchestra all have been announced, and most area schools are represented in at least one of the ensembles.
• BAND: Blue Springs: Caitlyn Smith, senior, flute; Mandi Brown, senior, clarinet; Alyssa Fritz, senior, bass clarinet (alternate), Samuel Stiles, junior, baritone (alternate), Morgan Rogers, senior, percussion, jazz band honorable mention drum set; Tyler Dye, senior, clarinet (honorable mention); Luke David, junior, trombone (HM); Zane Meins, sophomore, baritone.
Blue Springs South: Nick Herman, senior, trumpet; Emily Johnson, senior, bass clarinet (HM); Lynn Reynolds, senior, bass clarinet (HM).
Fort Osage: Jacob Crozier, senior, flute.
Grain Valley: Alex Griffitt, senior, oboe; Charles Cross, senior, trombone; Emily Leske, senior, percussion; Nathan Steinmuller, sophomore, trumpet (HM).
Lee's Summit North: Madelyn Taylor, sophomore, piccolo.
Truman: Nick Stabile, senior, tuba; Jacob Presler, sophomore, baritone (HM).
• CHOIR: Blue Springs: Lindsey Ziefle, senior, alto; Wyatt Atwood, junior, bass
Blue Springs South: Madelyn Padget, junior, soprano; Lauren Low, junior, alto (alternate); Jordan Haas, junior, tenor.
Fort Osage: Megan Hall, senior, soprano (alternate); Kiley Hoaglin, senior, alto
Lee's Summit North: Lukas Parrish, senior, bass (alternate).
Truman: Elena Yroz, senior, alto.
Van Horn: Paul Hemmingway, senior, tenor (alternate).
• ORCHESTRA: Blue Springs: Melanie Avery, violin; Emmanuel Aguilera, viola.