Williamstown High School student a Dunphy Memorial Scholar

CHARLESTON — A Williamstown High School student is the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 winner of the Dr. James F. Dunphy Memorial Scholarship.

Zoe Daugherty, a junior at Williamstown High, successfully auditioned and interviewed for the scholarship, which offers private music lessons with a symphony musician, the opportunity to attend rehearsals and personal interaction with Music Director Lawrence Loh.

Daugherty, a violinist, participates in the Williamstown High string program and is a volunteer tutor in the elementary strings program. She was a member of the 2020 West Virginia All-State Orchestra, citing in her application essay that the All-State experience was one of the most challenging and rewarding of her young performing career.

“…in the moment, you are the individual no more. It is simply the orchestra, the conductor and the sound,” she said.

Daugherty also is involved in competitive dance and Quiz Bowl.

“As a young and growing musician, it’s a tremendous opportunity to be selected. I have auditioned for this award several years in a row and was glad to be successful this year,” Daugherty said.

The selection committee listened to recorded auditions submitted by the finalists before Zoom interviews, which took place on June 20. The panel is comprised members of the Dunphy family and Loh. The finalists included two other juniors, Christian Deem, a tuba player at Parkersburg High School, and Jake McGraw, a tuba player at Ripley High School.

This is the third year of the award honoring Dr. James F. Dunphy 1930-2011, a lifelong devotee of and advocate for classical music who lived in Parkersburg for nearly 40 years. Previous winners are both high school graduates of the class of 2020. Eli Hall from Roane County High School will major in music in the bassoon studio at West Virginia University, and Ethan Hupp will attend Bowling Green State University in Ohio as a French horn major starting this fall.

“We congratulate Zoe, our winner this year, and are pleased that the scholarship has positively influenced the musical development of the previous winners, Ethan and Eli,” a statement from the Dunphy family said. “We were impressed by the commitment the finalists showed in auditioning during these difficult times. We always welcome new applicants as well as those who auditioned but did not win in previous years.”

The symphony is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, family and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. In its 81st season, the symphony is a member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.


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