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Norah Purcell

445

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Education

St Olaf College

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2028
  • Majors:
    • Music

Central High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Music
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Music

    • Dream career goals:

      Future Interests

      Politics

      Volunteering

      Entrepreneurship

      James B. McCleary Music Scholarship
      I dream of being a classical musician. I want to raise voice with many others and feel the thrill of perfection mingling with the imperfection of true emotion. I want to see my student's eyes light up when they finally gain control of a difficult passage. I want to sing carol of the bells every year and see children dancing before me, because when they hear it, they feel what I feel and cannot contain their delight. I want to wake up every morning and know that my job in the world is to stir hearts with the beauty of Beethoven, and Schubert, and Marcello. I dream of getting to live my life in a swirl of laughter and tears set free by song, of rehearsals with friends and impromptu harmonies. Of all my performance memories, my favorite was at a restaurant, one of these impromptu performances. The chamber choir I sang in had just finished a caroling gig, and was celebrating by going to Village Inn. There was just one waitress, serving the whole choir. After the meal, we thanked her by singing some carols. I’ll never forget the delight that filled her face, and ours, as we sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. There was this glow of connection in the room, because of our song. I am so inspired by music’s ability to bring people together. Music has given me a place to connect deeply with other people, and through my own music career I hope to create spaces for others to connect through music. And even on the off chance I don’t make a career of music, I know I will keep it with me for the sake of those joyful connections. This is my dream, to share in the joy that is music and the community of music, but I don’t know if that dream will happen, simply because there is a good chance I will not be able to sustain myself with the money I make as a musician. The music industry is increasingly difficult to traverse, and decreasingly profitable for artists. Of course, I am responsible for how well I manage my expenses, but to graduate from my bachelor’s degree with minimal debt would make a huge difference in my life as an artist, especially one who wants to pursue a master's and even doctorate degree in the future. This scholarship would play a huge role in minimizing that dept, and subsequently save me a lot of stress it as I manage my meager musician's income. In summary, I will chase music whatever happens, it is too important to me, and I feel it is to valuable not to make spaces for in the world, to leave behind just because I cannot afford to make it my career. But the money this scholarship can provide would give me more freedom to follow my dream, and with luck, spark a dream in those touched by my music.
      River City Ringers of Omaha Scholarship
      Winner
      Many years ago, when I was probably five years old, I played a little yellow handbell in "Happy Birthday". I was the smallest one there, and I felt a little silly, playing just one note. It was a G, perhaps, or F, or A. I don't exactly remember what note, but I remember how much I worried I would play my note at the wrong time. I figured it was a one time thing, that even if I messed up, I could just go back to playing barbies and never bother with a bell again. But I could not have been more wrong, and I never could have imagined how much handbells would come to mean to me. In sixth grade, I started playing violin, and as I entered high school, switched to viola, and joined choir at Central High school, my eagerness to participate in music grew. I have always loved fiddling with whatever instrument I can get my hands on, and I love making music with other people, so when my friend mentioned that I should join bell choir, I quickly decided I would go. From the first time I sightread with the group, I was charmed. The beautiful sound of the bell alone was wonderful, and the unique sort of collaboration necessary for handbells inspired me. I had to not only read the music in front of me, but also listen and respond to the bells around me with a special attention not found anywhere else. Of course, in orchestra, and choir, listening is vital, but to each hold a note, and to weave your note into a melodic line without having any control over when and how the other notes are played takes a focus and musical sense that exceeds anything else I have experienced. Beyond these intricacies, bell choir is such a deeply emotional form of music. In many communities, there is great emotion and importance associated with the sound of the bell. They sing of life and death, herald in bridal parties and funeral processions. With such history even the humble handbell carries the weight of all this. It sings of whatever the piece was intended for, yes, but also of community and coming together in our highest and lowest moments. As you can guess, handbells have come to mean a great deal to me, in the two years that I have been blessed to experience them. As I go on to pursue my undergrad in viola performance, with singing as my secondary instrument, I dearly hope to continue with bells. Thankfully, the school I am committed to, St. Olaf, has a fine handbell choir. And beyond college, I know I will always try to find time in my life for bells, for the sake of their history, their beauty, and the joyful connections they bring.
      Everett J. Collins, Jr. Music Scholarship
      I dream of being a classical musician. I want to raise voice with many others and feel the thrill of perfection mingling with the imperfection of true emotion. I want to see my student's eyes light up when they finally gain control of a difficult passage. I want to sing carol of the bells every year and see children dancing before me, because when they hear it, they feel what I feel and cannot contain their delight. I want to wake up every morning and know that my job in the world is to stir hearts with the beauty of Beethoven, and Schubert, and Marcello. I dream of getting to live my life in a swirl of laughter and tears set free by song, of rehearsals with friends and impromptu harmonies. Of all my performance memories, my favorite was at a restaurant, one of these impromptu performances. The chamber choir I sang in had just finished a caroling gig, and was celebrating by going to Village Inn. There was just one waitress, serving the whole choir. After the meal, we thanked her by singing some carols. I’ll never forget the delight that filled her face, and ours, as we sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. There was this glow of connection in the room, because of our song. I am so inspired by music’s ability to bring people together. Music has given me a place to connect deeply with other people, and through my own music career I hope to create spaces for others to connect through music. And even on the off chance I don’t make a career of music, I know I will keep it with me for the sake of those joyful connections. This is my dream, to share in the joy that is music and the community of music, but I don’t know if that dream will happen, simply because there is a good chance I will not be able to sustain myself with the money I make as a musician. The music industry is increasingly difficult to traverse, and decreasingly profitable for artists. Of course, I am responsible for how well I manage my expenses, but to graduate from my bachelor’s degree with minimal debt would make a huge difference in my life as an artist, especially one who wants to pursue a master's and even doctorate degree in the future. This scholarship would play a huge role in minimizing that dept, and subsequently save me a lot of stress it as I manage my meager musician's income. In summary, I will chase music whatever happens, it is too important to me, and I feel it is to valuable not to make spaces for in the world, to leave behind just because I cannot afford to make it my career. But the money this scholarship can provide would give me more freedom to follow my dream, and with luck, spark a dream in those touched by my music.