2018 PFA Scholarship Winners

Palos Fine Arts is happy to announce this year's awardees of our annual scholarships.

Each year at the Concert in the Park, which we co-host with the Village of Palos Park - Palos Fine Arts has a Scholarship Raffle. The proceeds of the raffle benefit our scholarship fund. Palos Fine Arts also receives special funding from the community, former Palos Fine Arts board members and/or their families for our special scholarships.


Joshua Melocoton, senior at Stagg, for excellence in musical performance

Born in the Philippines, Josh came to the US as an eight year old.  Shy and unable to speak English, music seemed to the key that enabled him to blossom.  Beginning in 5th grade, he has been playing the clarinet and gathering awards ever since.  His dedication to his music is evident as he has served as a principal player in both Stagg’s Symphonic Band and its Wind Symphony, marching in the band and yearly taking part in the spring musical orchestra.  He auditioned for and made ILMEA District Band and its Honor Band as well as performing with Ball State University’s Honor Band (consisting of some of the most talented high school musicians in the country).  He will continue his studies in the fall at Ball State University working toward a degree in musical performance.


Jason Kazin, senior at Stagg, for excellence in musical performance and composition

From a family of musicians, Jason’s grandmother began teaching him piano at the age of six.  By the time he was in fifth grade, the trombone was his instrument of choice.  Once in high school, he joined choir, the marching band (as a section leader), became the principle trombonist in the concert band and a member of jazz ensemble and pit orchestra, as well as being an Eagle Scout.  His great love of music has lead him to compose and his original score THE EVER-BURNING FIRE was performed at the Fall Band Showcase in October.  He will continue his studies at University of Illinois in the fall and work toward a degree in Musical Education.


Sydney Fugett, senior at Andrews, for excellence in dance

Sydney fell in love with dance as a young child.  Enrolled in a local studio for fun she soon realized this art-form enabled her to truly express herself through movement and she began to flourish.  Her dance instructor describes her as bright, outgoing, having great leadership qualities and taking what is offered and making something extraordinary.  She will attend Point Park University, a private school in Pittsburg in the fall with the double major of dance and mass communications.


Leah Murawska, junior at Stagg, for excellence in music

An active musician, Leah plays snare drum as part of the Colts Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (for the second summer in Dubuque, Iowa), is part of Wind Symphony playing the trumpet as well as being part of the Marching Chargers where she is section leader of drumline.   As a freshman on snare drum, she focused on the rudimentary techniques in Drum Corps International (DCI), auditioned for and made The Pioneer Indoor Percussion Ensemble (a competitive marching group comprised of high school and collegiate students across the Midwest) and keeps a rigorous schedule of AP classes.  This summer she will apply her scholarship money to again attend the Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps which allows her the opportunity to travel and perform across the country while perfecting her skills as a percussionist.


Taylor Mondragon, junior at Andrew, for excellence in Musical Theatre

Beginning in small productions as a child, Taylor fell in love with the art of performing.  To date her theatre experiences include 40 shows (school and community theatre) as well as traveling group performances.  She’s a member of Andrew’s Speech Team, takes dancing lessons, acting and singing classes as well as attending workshops and master-classes where she has received a number of honors and awards.  Her PFA Scholarship will allow her to attend REGARDING ACTORS at Drury Lane this summer where she will train with professionals who have performed on Broadway and other theaters.