Words from our Mosaic Scholars

Brianna Massey

Being a mosaic scholar has influenced and shaped my life a great deal. It has helped give me the extra motivation needed to thrive musically. It has also expanded my exposure to music throughout the Grand Rapids area. As a mosaic scholar I have the honor to regularly attend Grand Rapids Symphony concerts. After every concert I am left speechless and with the desire to continue my passion(music) at the professional level. 

This scholarship has not only enhanced my life today but will continue to, throughout the future. With the help of this scholarship and my private lessons teacher, Lorene I have been able to compete at both district and state solo and ensemble and receive the top rating. On Mondays I attend my weekly lessons with Lorene. These valuable times cause my love for music as well as my skills as a cellist to flourish! They have also assisted me in becoming a valuable member in my schools orchestra. 

With the help of this scholarship I have been fortunate enough to meet great people who, like me have a deep love and gratitude for music. My fellow Mosaic Scholars and I have also had the opportunity to perform at the Symphony With Soul event and I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the whole process was. We worked along side professionals to create a master piece that even received a standing ovation! This scholarship means a great deal to me and I couldn't imagine my life without it.  

Sienna Higgins

In case you don’t know, my name is Sienna Higgins, I play the saxophone, and I am a senior at Byron Center High School.  As a Mosaic Scholar, I have the privilege to enjoy many opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to experience.  My two most favorite experiences took place in October and November. 


The night of October 22nd, the Mosaic scholars were invited to an open rehearsal for the Grand Rapids Symphony as they prepared for their concert.  I didn’t know what to expect.  Would we be playing?  Would the scholars be asking the symphony members questions?  Would the members be asking us questions?  What ended up taking place was the perfect scenario for the introvert that I am.  I was able to listen to an enchanting rehearsal without any expectation or small talk.  But it was more than listening; it was more like being a part of the rehearsal.  The feeling I get when I play something beautiful is the same feeling I felt that night.  The beauty of sound I heard from those amazing professionals on the heavenly stage was like nothing I had heard before.  It made me realize that listening in the audience is great, but listening within the band is an incomparable, instant, emotional experience.  

The other experience that I enjoyed the most was the petting zoo before The Firebird concert on November 21st.  Honestly, I was nervous, especially when I was told that I would have to teach kids how to play an instrument I was unfamiliar with, but I understood why.  We as people are less likely to try something when we see someone else doing well at it because it develops self-doubt.  I had also not been around so many children since I was their age.  Although I was nervous, I eventually realized that I was becoming a part of something extremely magical – the human experience with music at a beginner’s stage.  Yes, there’s frustration, self-doubt, and hesitancy, but there’s also curiosity, courage, and joy.  Watching the children’s faces light up as they were able to get notes out made me feel light with happiness. The transformation of a child through a single, and not even necessarily well-played note seems unbelievable, but it happened over and over again, and each time it did, I felt joy too.  

Music has always been a huge part of my life that I intend to hold on to.  However, sometimes I think about not being so invested or maybe quitting altogether.  It’s these moments that keep me going.  These moments help me remember that music is more than notes on a page.  Music is the Universal Language, the key to people discovering their voice, their humanity, and even themselves.

Posted by Sam Napolitan at 7:30 AM
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