Patrick Latos Music Scholarships Are Awarded to Wheeling Park Students
During the recent Wheeling Park Strings Orchestra concert, three highly talented musicians were awarded the Patrick Latos Memorial Scholarship.
Robert Irvin, Vance Mazure and Emily Loh will continue to pursue their music training as they begin college studies this fall.
These scholarships honor the rich tradition which was established in 1999 in memory of Patrick, a 1997 WPHS graduate and long-standing student in the Ohio County Strings Program. The competitive scholarship was established to recognize the hard work, endearing qualities and musical talent of graduating seniors and members of the strings orchestra.
Since its inception, the Patrick Latos Memorial Scholarship, managed by the Ohio County Schools Foundation, has provided over $102,000 in scholarships and grants to 34 deserving musicians, enabling them to meet various music education needs. For the past several years, additional grants exceeding $30,000, have also assisted the Ohio County Strings Association in helping Ohio County students who have been selected to perform in the West Virginia All-State Orchestra.
Each year, a committee reviews several scholarship applications to determine who best merits the awards, and each year, the task has become more difficult because of the large number of deserving musicians. Upon the suggestion of Program Director, Ben Podolski, the scholarship was created in Patrick’s memory to keep his fun-loving interest in music alive for many students who followed in his footsteps as a WPHS musician.
“We never anticipated that this scholarship, in Patrick’s name, would have had such a positive impact on so many students,” Derrick and Michelle Latos said in a joint statement. “We are proud to be able to support the work of Ben, and all his students, colleagues, and school administrators in making the Ohio County Strings Program the premiere public school music education program throughout and beyond West Virginia.”
Importantly, several past recipients of this scholarship have returned to the Ohio Valley and are actively involved in music education in local public schools.