Bel Air resident Ryan Parks has received the 2014 William A. Humbert Memorial Scholarship for $5,000, the Community Foundation of Harford County announced.
The scholarship is named in memory of William "Bill" Humbert, a charter member of the Bel Air Community Band and a founder of the Bel Air Summer Concert Series. The scholarship is awarded to an advanced music student who is a graduate of a Harford County high school.
Parks, who plays the trombone, is a senior music education major at the University of Delaware. He is a 2011 graduate of Patterson Mill High School.
As the 2014 recipient of the Humbert Scholarship, Parks performed June 1 with the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sheldon Bair. He was the featured soloist with the orchestra at its opening summer concert at the William A. Humbert Amphitheater at Shamrock Park in Bel Air.
A dean's list student at the University of Delaware, Parks was part of the Fightin' Blue Hens Marching Band, jazz band, symphonic band and wind band. He performed in the pit orchestra for the Harrington Theatre Arts Company and is also a member of the trombone choir, which performed at the International Trombone Festival in Rochester, N.Y.
While in high school, Parks participated in all levels of music, including concert and jazz band, the Harford County Public Schools All-County Band, the Susquehanna Youth Orchestra and the Towson Honor Band. He also performed in the pit orchestra for the Patterson Mill Drama Company as well as in the marching band, where he was drum major his junior and senior years. He was the recipient of the Patterson Mill High Woody Herman Jazz Band Award and the Patterson Mill Band Booster's Scholarship.
Outside of his studies, Parks has several performance opportunities to his credit, including The Chesapeake Brass Band (which won the 2013 National Brass Band Competition in Ohio), The Philadelphia Wind Symphony and the Empire Statesmen Drum Corps (Rochester, N.Y.). Parks has also performed impromptu with Creel, the Irish house band at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Walt Disney World, and with Charmaine Neville at the Snug Harbor Club in New Orleans.
Parks' aspirations include continuing on to advanced degrees in music, teaching music and performing professionally.
The late Mr. Humbert, who was fondly known as "Mr. Bel Air" for his various civic activities with the Bel Air Lions and other local organizations, gave clarinet and saxophone lessons for many years. He served as president of the Bel Air Community Band for 10 years and was an active member of the clarinet section until ill health forced him to step down in 2000. The scholarship was established in 2003 and is presented yearly.
"Ryan Parks' commitment to musical excellence is impressive. The arts are so important to the community, and Ryan demonstrates how music can impact lives," Tamara W. Zavislan, executive director of the Community Foundation of Harford County, said in a statement. "The Community Foundation of Harford County is particularly pleased that this year's 11th Humbert Scholarship is being presented for the first time to a graduate of Patterson Mill High School."
Community Foundation of Harford County is a nonprofit organization supported by the community through donations, enabling individuals, families and businesses to leave a legacy to benefit the causes that matter on a local level.
Earlier this year, CFHC received accreditation from the Community Foundations National Standards Board. The accreditation, from The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, is the nation's highest honor for philanthropic excellence.