Westgate student, alumni win music scholarships

January 30, 2019 | Focus On Education | Volume 23 Issue 3
Rachel Bergen | Contributing Editor
From left to right, Westgate award winners Juliana Moroz, cello; Christina Thanisch-Smith, soprano; and Alexander Moroz, viola. (Photo by Joanne Pearson)

One Westgate Mennonite Collegiate student and two alumni are recipients of scholarships awarded by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg.

Cellist Juliana Moroz, who is in Grade 12 at the Winnipeg school, won a scholarship valued at $2,500. Soprano Christina Thanisch-Smith, who graduated from the school in 2015, received the Madeleine Gauvin Scholarship, worth $2,000; and violist Alexander Moroz, who graduated from Westgate last year, received the Holtby Scholarship, worth $1,500.

These scholarships are three of the six scholarships worth a total of $11,500 that the club presented to up-and-coming musicians at a recital at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Dec. 30, 2018.

Vic Pankratz, head of the choral department at Westgate, worked with the three recipients through their junior- and senior-high school careers.

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“It’s fantastic to see,” he says. “The two Morozes and Christina are incredibly dedicated musicians. They’re very serious about making music. They’ve always wanted to be high-level musicians, and it’s great to see that they’re well on their way to making their dreams come true.”

Pankratz says he’s proud of their accomplishments: “It’s thrilling to be, in a small way, a part of that. They deserve to be highlighted because they’re such amazing musicians.”

Thanisch-Smith, who is studying vocal performance at the University of Manitoba, posted on Facebook after her win: “I’m very thankful for the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg and their constant support of young musicians.”

The scholarships are meant to further young instrumentalists’ and vocalists’ musical training. 

From left to right, Westgate award winners Juliana Moroz, cello; Christina Thanisch-Smith, soprano; and Alexander Moroz, viola. (Photo by Joanne Pearson)

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