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Scholarship honors Young

Band member Alex Bishop receives $500

Band member Alex Bishop receives $500

June 10, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - Throughout his life, Herbert A. Young made an impact on hundreds of music students in two states. And though Young died in November 2007, his family is preserving his memory and his passion through a scholarship fund.

On May 19, Alex Bishop became the first recipient of a $500 scholarship through that fund. A trumpet player and drum major, Bishop is planning to attend Frostburg State University to study engineering.

"This is the only band scholarship we have here at Hancock Middle-Senior High School," said current Band Director Scott Benford.

In his fifth year of teaching band, Benford just completed his first year at Hancock. He previously taught in Clear Spring for a year and then at Northern Middle in Hagerstown for three years.

"We had six seniors in band this year alone," Benford said, noting that Bishop was one of those. "I needed a way to honor our band students like this."

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Benford said he has accepted one or two checks for the scholarship fund, but he would like to see more funds coming in so more scholarships can be awarded in the future.

Describing Young as the mainstay of music at Hancock, Benford said a lot of the kids in his band have parents who were band students under Young's guidance.

"I actually played with Herb in the Tri-State Big Band," Benford said.

Young's musical career was long. He had been the music teacher at the high school in Shepherdstown, W.Va., for just two weeks when he was drafted. After a four-year tour, he immediately picked up where he left off.

There were stints at South Middle and Martinsburg High schools, both in Martinsburg, W.Va., then at Hancock Elementary and Hancock Middle-Senior High from 1965 to 1990. In addition, Young directed choirs at several churches through the years.

In his "spare" time, he taught private music students. And along the way, he inspired others to follow in his musical path.

Sharilyn Bovey, a student of Young's for six years in Martinsburg, said being a member of his band was more like being in a large, extended family.

"I wouldn't have gone into music except for him," Bovey said in an interview at the time of Young's death. "Now I teach music because I wanted to be just like him."

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