Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Winner
Mar 27, 2019
Andrew Koonce - $1,500 Spring 2019 Non-Rev Spirit Award Winner

My mother is a flight attendant for Endeavor Air and because of this, our family now has the privilege of flying Non-Rev and this privilege will make it possible for me to further my career as a musician. I am currently in my 3rd year at the Juilliard School as a Violin Performance major. Juilliard is the world’s foremost musical training academy and although my studies there are extremely intense, but improving my skills and developing the professional connections necessary to be successful upon graduation requires me to travel and that is why I am incredibly fortunate to be able to travel Non-Rev.

Participating in violin competitions is one of the most important aspects of a budding violinists career. The experience playing under immense pressure that comes with playing in a competition is invaluable to a violinist in the latter portion of his time as a student. The United States is home to several very important regional and international violin competitions and the ability to fly to and from competitions for free is a relief from the massive burden that is posed by the cost of airline tickets. I have traveled to several competitions over the past year that I otherwise would not have been able to attend had it not been for my ability to fly for free. I gained a great deal from my experiences in the competitions and I have only my Non-Rev privileges to thank.

Another very important aspect of the classical music training is attending summer music festivals. These festivals serve as training institutions for young classical musicians to continue their studies during the summer months when school is not in session. Festivals are often staffed by many prominent figures in the classical music world and attendance at any one particular festival means the opportunity to study with world renowned musicians. Last summer I was able to use my Non-Rev status to travel to Brevard, North Carolina, home of the Brevard Music Festival. While in Brevard, I was able to study with some of the most well respected violinist in classical music and spend my summer with serious players who were just as dedicated to music as I am. During the 3 weeks I spent at the festival, I was learned many important things from the professionals I had the opportunity to study with and I am extremely grateful that I was able to attend.

During the calendar year ahead I plan on continuing to use my Non-Rev privileges to further my studies and advance myself as a musician. In March my parents will be traveling to Leipzig, Germany to visit the resting place of Johann Sebastian Bach, widely regarded as the greatest composer of all time. Visiting Bach’s grave is sure to be a life changing experience and of all the people I know who have taken this “pilgrimage” to Germany, all say that their love for music was reaffirmed upon returning. I also plan on attending the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Bowdoin, Maine over the summer and being able to use my NonRev privileges will certainly make my travel that much easier.. Since I am approaching the end of my studies at Juilliard, these next few experiences will be my last opportunities to learn before I become a professional it is crucial that I take advantage of every opportunity to gain experience and study with seasoned veterans. Because of my status as a Non-Rev traveler, I will be able to attend these and any other beneficial programs that come to my attention during the course of the school year.

I cannot not express how beneficial it is to me as a classical music student to have access to free air travel. My ability to attend musical functions without having to raise funds to pay for expensive air travel will put me at a huge advantage against my peers and competitors.

The number of experiences I can gather is now limited only by logistics and my enemy is not money, but time. I am extremely grateful for my privileges and I will sure continue to take advantage of them for as long as I am able.

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