Chelsea graduate promotes her passion for music, wins scholarship

When Christa Ray was surfing the web applying for scholarships, she never thought she’d become a finalist, much less a winner.

One scholarship for band students prompted entrants to write an essay on the importance of keeping music a part of the school curriculum. Winning essays will be published in a trade magazine for music educators called School Band and Orchestra magazine, and the winning writers would receive $1,000 in scholarship money.

When Ray got the call informing her she was one of five high school students selected out of the thousands across the country who entered, she was understandably excited.

“I enjoyed writing the essay because I could share my experience with band and how music is important to me,” Ray said.

Ray has been playing the flute since junior high.

“I chose it because I thought it sounded and looked pretty,” she said. “I love the sound it makes and the different style of music you can play with a flute.”

Chelsea High School’s band director, Dane Lawley, said “It couldn’t have happened to a better student.”

Ray has bought both her flutes at Art’s Music Shop in Inverness, and since the contest was put on by a trade magazine, the company called Art’s to inform them one of their customers had won the contest.

“When they contacted us, we were really excited,” said Jessica Freehling-Kazzie, the manager of Art’s. “It’s a big deal to be a part of it.”

Ray will begin attending Auburn University in the fall and will play in the marching band.

She said she hasn’t decided for sure what part of her education she will spend the scholarship money on.

The essay will be published in School Band and Orchestra magazine later in the year.