Erber, Ponce Receive 2019 Grants

Local guitarist preps for launch of musicians collaborative

At Rim High School’s Senior’s Scholarship Night on Wednesday, May 22, Brooke Erder and Uriel Ponce each received 2019 Rotary Club Of Lake Arrowhead – Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Music Scholarships totaling $1500.

Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Board Members Lori Semeniuk and Dr. Hugh Bialecki made the presentation.

Both students play brass instruments and will use the scholarship money to help with tuition in the fall. Brooke will be attending San Francisco State University, majoring in Film Production and – hopefully – minoring in Music Theory. Uriel plans to attend La Sierra University, where he will study to become an optometrist.

Brook Erber: “One of the best experiences”

Brooke Erber has been playing the trumpet since 6th grade, and was trumpet section leader for the Rim High School Marching Band during her junior year and also conducted the Pit Orchestra for the Rim’s staged musical.

“There were even times when I had to play trumpet and conduct at the same time,” she said.

During her senior year, she was the section leader for both the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band and had the honor of being the Marching Band’s Drum Major

“That has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said.

Outside of school, my activities include club basketball for all four years of high school, six jobs during the four years, and also coached a youth basketball team. She earned her academic letter in her sophomore year of high school and was awarded outstanding individual achievement in concert band and AV Video Production.

Uriel Ponce: I love jazz as much as any music

Uriel Ponce originally wanted to play the flute didn’t think he was very good at it and changed to the trumpet in the 5th Grade. He was a trumpet player into his sophomore year at Rim, but after having realized at the end of his freshmen year that both of the band’s French Horn players were graduating, he decided to “help the band and expand my music experience a little more.”

“I’ve played the French horn since then,” he said, “and have only enjoyed music more.”

Uriel has participated in Rim’s Marching Band and wind ensemble, joining the jazz band in his senior year.

“I only wish I joined sooner because I love jazz just as much as any of the other music,” he added.

He earned an academic letter and an academic bar in his sophomore and junior years, Outstanding Individual Achievement Awards in French and Health, and was a member of the Science Club. He also received the American Legion School Award in 2015.

Regarding his upcoming schooling, he admits it will be a long path with eight years of schooling ahead, but believes this will be a good path for me.

“Doing something in the medical field is a great way to be able to help people in my everyday life,” he said. “I now see that this was reflected in my life through the band and becoming an Eagle Scout and I see no reason not continue doing what I enjoy most.”

Photo: Brooke Erber and Uriel Ponce.