Inaugural scholarships from Rogene Russell Fund awarded

Young composer and promising pianist receive Rogene Russell Scholarships

Supporters of Fine Arts Chamber Players help musicians begin college on positive note

We are proud to announce Quinn Mason and Kenoly Kadia as the recipients of the first annual Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund. Mason, an award-winning young composer, will attend Texas Christian University in the fall. Kadia is a pianist and plans to attend the University of Texas. Both are graduates from Dallas ISD: Mason from North Dallas High School in 2015, Kadia from David W. Carter High School in 2017.

Scholarship recipients Quinn Mason (left) and Kenoly Kadia (right) flank donors Norma and Don Stone.

Scholarship recipients Quinn Mason (left) and Kenoly Kadia (right) flank donors Norma and Don Stone.

“I am very honored and grateful to receive this generous gift, as I could not have paid the tuition myself,” said Mason. “I am hoping that this college education will allow me to provide a comfortable living for myself, and allow me to provide for my mother. I plan to reach new heights in music and do important things that will make an impact on future generations. I will work to the best of my ability to make the Stones proud that they invested in my education.”

The scholarship was established at The Dallas Foundation in March 2016 by longtime FACP supporters Don and Norma Stone, and it was named in honor of Rogene Russell, the artistic director and cofounder of FACP.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of talented candidates who applied for the first year of the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund, and are eager to see the progress that Quinn and Kenoly will make in their college music studies,” explained FACP Executive Director Rachel Assi.

Applications were considered by a committee representing FACP, Southern Methodist University, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, The Dallas Foundation, and the local philanthropic community. After the initial review of material, select applicants were asked to perform for or present their compositions to the committee for further consideration.

Rogene Russell added, “FACP has been honored to support Kenoly and Quinn in their pre-college artistic growth. As anyone currently attending college knows, the cost of tuition is daunting. Through the vision and generosity of Norma and Don Stone, these scholarships will enable Kenoly and Quinn to pursue a college education without the burden of immense debt.”

“I am very grateful for all the support that I have had from FACP,” echoed Kadia. “I am very humbled and honored to receive the scholarship. I intend to use this scholarship to the best of my ability, and hopefully one day I will be an inspiration to others and be an asset in the music industry.”

Since the Fund was established in 2016, the Stone’s initial $500,000 gift has grown by 38%, totaling $691,000 through additional contributions.

“Our highest hope,” Mr. Stone stated, “is that the fund will increase to at least $1 million to provide support for the college careers of other young aspiring musicians in future years.”

“Don and I know this scholarship has made a huge impact on the ability of these two winners to continue their music education,” added Mrs. Stone. “How many other gifted youngsters such as Quinn and Kenoly can we help in the future?”

“The Dallas Foundation manages a variety of scholarship funds made possible by the generosity of our donors,” said Mary Jalonick, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “For many students, these scholarships can be a valuable resource that allows them to achieve lifelong dreams. We’d like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Quinn and Kenoly, and special thanks to Don and Norma Stone, as well as Fine Arts Chambers Players, for their continued leadership and commitment to nurturing the future leaders of the arts community.”

For more information about contributing to the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund, please contact Dallas Foundation Grants Officer Lynsie Laughlin at 214-741-9898 or llaughlin@dallasfoundation.org; or visit DallasFoundation.org, click on “I’d like to give to a fund,” then search for “Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund.”


Teacher Profile: Sarah Kienle, viola

Violist Sarah Kienle teaches beginning violin for 20 fourth graders at Peak Preparatory Academy, an East Dallas charter school. The FACP violin program at Peak, which just concluded its fifth year, is the only music program on campus and fourth graders are the youngest students to participate in our program. Ms. Kienle has taught for FACP for two years and, in general, her students are not only receiving violin instruction for the first time, but it is their first exposure to music class.

Kienle, Sarah 2017How old were you when you started playing? Do you play other instruments? I’m a “full-blood” violist and started playing at age 7. I took six years of piano lessons when I was young and I can still find my way around a keyboard, albeit a little clumsily.

So, your instrument is viola, but you’re teaching violin. Is there a lot of crossover between the two instruments? Both playing and teaching violin and viola are very similar. In fact, it is not uncommon for violinists to switch to viola or play both. Every once in a while, a violist will switch to the violin. They are held and played the same way, although there are some minor idiosyncrasies to each instrument that require a little adjustment. The viola is slightly larger than the violin and rather than having E, A, D, G for strings, violas have A, D, G, C. Viola music is also written with the alto clef, or C-clef, although sometimes our music switches to treble clef when there is a risk of too many ledger lines (it gets difficult to read because it is too high).

What did you study in college, and where did you study? I received my Bachelor of Music in viola performance from the Colburn School and my Master of Music in viola performance from Indiana University. My outside major in college was beginning violin and viola pedagogy — I love to teach beginning violin.

Who is your favorite composer to play? Beethoven.

What do you love about teaching young violin students? Their excitement! Violin is still so new and fascinating to them and it’s inspiring to see.

Have you taught other ages? I have taught ages 8 – 65.

What is a particularly memorable recital or performance of yours? I’ll never forget my first experience playing a real symphony when I first moved away from home. My youth orchestra was playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, and I was blown away by the experience of sitting in the middle of such a powerful sound.

What piece of advice would you give 11-year-old Sarah? Always make sure to have FUN while you play!

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? Least favorite? I love the sound of choirs, especially small ensembles or those singing early music. My least favorite sound is any sound that wakes me up when I’m sleeping.

Once you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert are you looking forward to? I’m excited to see what the old masters (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) do with today’s music technology.