We recently announced the winner of the 2016 Tri-M/Encore Tours Scholarship in which high school applicants were asked to write an essay on “how music can be defined as a universal language.” The essays we received provided great insight into how music plays an important role in every culture and every being. Here's were some of our favorite quotes:

“Music is a bridge between all persons across the globe. It's a universal language, uniting us in the way we learn, the way we feel, and the way we interact.”

– Lydia L.

“Music has always defied the rules and limits… [in the past] people wanted to speak their minds through the art of music. It gave them the opportunity to express more than they can speak and gave listeners a way to say what they always wanted to say.”

– Hunter D.

“An essential part of music being universal is that anyone can learn to make music. That is the strangeness and beauty of music; that anyone can create it and there is no wrong answer, it is just whatever naturally occurs.”

– Kelly S. 

“Someday, an instrumentalist may find themselves in an ensemble where they don't speak the same language as everyone else, except music. They may not be able to converse with others in their section or ask the conductor a question, but they can follow along with the music and play to the best of their ability.”

– Jacob D.

“Our school has a diversity of students possessing various backgrounds and cultural experiences. When we play as a group, something magical happens: all students feel the music and we become one. Music's purpose is to bring us together.”

– Kendelle P.

Read the winning essay “United in Music” and an interview with scholarship winner, Lydia L. from Collinsville High School, IL.

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