Curtis Massad turns down football for music in accepting the Miller Family Music Education Scholarship Award.
Each year, a graduating high school senior or home-schooled student who resides in Door County and who is pursuing a degree in music education or performance is selected for a variable scholarship award. This year the Miller Family Music Education Scholarship has been awarded to Gibraltar High School Senior, Curtis Massad. The scholarship is quite substantial, covering tuition, books, room and board for 4 years as long as Curtis maintains a 2.5 grade point average.
“I passed up a $26,000 scholarship in football for this,” explains Massad. “I figured I could do a lot more with a career in music.”
In the 6th grade Curtis decided he wanted to learn to play the clarinet, but when he approached Charlie Eckhardt, Instrumental Music teacher at Gibraltar Schools, Eckhardt said, “You look like a tuba player.” For the next 7 years he mentored Curtis in learning to master a brass instrument instead of a woodwind.
“I was the 1st person at GHS to start on a tuba,” says Curtis. “In order to practice I was given a miniature tuba to use at home. In the 7th grade, Brendan Regnier and I started a polka band – the first one in the school’s history.”
Eventually Curtis was provided with a $12,000 instrument to use in concert performances, but it will remain behind as part of the school’s assets. This is one hurdle Curtis is working to overcome, waiting tables at the Summertime restaurant in Fish Creek. In the fall he will attend UW Milwaukee.