Scholars in the Spotlight: Now in theaters ... Bliss wins vocal music Burrowes Scholar award

It began with 5 simple lines on a stage in the middle of Pennsylvania. It wasn’t the Big Apple, but it was Dutch Apple. And it was a start.
Lauren Bliss is the 2015-16 Burrowes Scholar
for vocal music

We all have those talents or hobbies that become part of who we are. For some it is soccer and others it’s swimming, but for Lauren Bliss, a junior at Lampeter-Strasburg, music is her home. Since the age of seven, Bliss has been actively involved in some aspect of music. From piano lessons, to voice lessons, to flute lessons, she says, “Music allows me to express my feelings. Music is my outlet.”

An active member in chorus, since fourth grade, and madrigals, since seventh grade, it is no surprise that Lauren Bliss is the Vocal Music Burrowes Scholar for the 2015-2016 school year. Mr. Erik Welchans, choral director at L-S and Bliss’s vocal repertoire instructor, comments, “On top of having a great voice, Lauren connects really well with her audience. She has a gift of communicating the lyrics she sings.” 
Bliss recently portrayed Catherine in "Pippin" on the L-S stage
But what exactly does it mean to be a Burrowes Scholar? A Burrowes Scholar is a student who demonstrates diligence, a keen desire for success, and academic excellence. The Burrowes Scholar program notes, “Self-motivation for learning can be a student’s greatest asset.” And so, the award recognizes students who love what they do and pursue it with passion and the highest degree of dedication. 

Bliss's theatrical career began
many years ago
After recently playing an independent, passionate widow named Catherine, in the school’s production of "Pippin", Bliss has simply added to her resume of qualifications. Her previous roles included Gertrude McFuzz in "Seussical the Musical" and Nellie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun". In addition, she has participated in the LLMEA county chorus, PMEA district chorus, and is a four-time L-S Idol champion. She also serves as a cantor (one who leads congregation in singing) at her church and helps with the children’s choir.

And so, there is no doubt that Bliss is a deserving candidate of the Vocal Music Burrowes Scholar Award and that she is on the road to even more musical success in the future. But what exactly are her future aspirations? While she hopes to participate in choir ensembles and musicals in college, Lauren Bliss hopes to pursue a career in the health sciences field in hopes of becoming a nurse anesthetist. However, this should come as no surprise. Her first lines on that stage many years ago were, “My finger hurts!”

This is the first article in an series featuring each of the high school recipients of the Burrowes Scholar award, which is given to one student in each subject area who demonstrates academic excellence in that subject. For more articles, visit this page. The series is coordinated by senior staff writer Mackenzie Miller, a three-time Burrowes Scholar herself.

--Mackenzie Miller, Senior Staff Writer

Edited: BP

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