Two Sarasota County students, Caleb Upton and Matthew Vaadi were awarded $1000 each by the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys utilizing its Sheridan E. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund

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“We have been making awards like this for many years and hope to continue the tradition,” said president Patrick Kilbane.

Two local students awarded $1000 each for music education


Pictured above: Sarasota Chorus of the Keys Scholarship Committee Chairman Brian Clark, center, with scholarship winners Caleb Upton, left, and Matthew Vaadi, right. 

Aug. 25, 2014   Sarasota, Fla.

Two Sarasota County students, Caleb Upton and Matthew Vaadi were awarded $1000 each by the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys utilizing its Sheridan E. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. This award recognizes promising young musicians who are heading to college.

“We have been making awards like this for many, many years and we hope to continue the tradition,” said Patrick Kilbane, president of the Chorus of the Keys. “The opportunity to help young musicians in their pursuit of making a living in the arts is truly priceless.”

Caleb Upton, a recent graduate of Venice High School, is a life-long musician and a straight-A student. He plans to become a pastor, attending Taylor University in Indiana this fall to pursue a degree in Christian education ministries with a minor in church music.

Matthew Vaadi, returning this fall to the University of Florida in Gainesville, plans to become a professional musician. His scholastic achievements, community involvement and extracurricular commitments, such as touring over the summer with a drum and bugle corps, demonstrate his commitment to his discipline.

The Sheridan E. Brown Memorial scholarship program was started in the late ’70s to help graduating seniors with their college expenses in the field of music and the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys continues to award it to two students each year. The COTK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and accepts donations from individuals and corporate partners, with the funds invested in a variety of stocks and bonds and managed by a local stock brokerage in coordination with the Chorus’ internal scholarship investment committee.

Students interested in applying for next year’s award should email [email protected] for more information.  Male high school seniors in Sarasota and Manatee Counties who have outstanding musical backgrounds and records of achievement will be considered.

Media Contact: Veronica Pastore, 941.330.4833
[email protected]

More about the COTK:

The Sarasota Chorus of the Keys is the oldest continuous arts group in Sarasota with a more than 60-year history and 100 members. Members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the Sarasota chapter was formed in 1949 by John Whelan, a visiting businessman with a desire to advance and preserve the truly American style of music that is the barbershop quartet. The Chorus carries out this mission today by striving for musical excellence and performing frequently for the broadest possible spectrum of Southwest Florida audiences.

After winning the Florida State Championship in 2004 and 2009, they are one of the top choruses in the state. They are also committed to contributing to the cultural development of the community through responsible public service and providing charitable support to benefit music educators and young people participating in those programs.

For more information, visit or get social with the Chorus at


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