MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship Awarded to Seven Aspiring Music Professionals Nationwide
November 10, 2022
MusiCounts is excited to unveil the seven 2022 MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship recipients from across Canada. The annual scholarship aims to advance the careers of aspiring music professionals who are nearing the completion of their post-secondary studies in music and music business.
"MusiCounts is thrilled to award Accelerate Scholarships to some exciting members of the next generation of music industry leaders,” says Kristy Fletcher, President of MusiCounts. “This scholarship helps launch young people's careers, opens doors, and gets them industry-ready thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, and the amazing mentors who offer their time and expertise. Congratulations to this year's recipients!"
Scholarship recipients, who are nominated by their post-secondary institution, each receive a $5,000 financial award and an intensive mentorship experience to develop their skills and help them kickstart a career in the music industry. The 2022 MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship virtual workshops and networking experiences will cover areas such as entertainment law, PR and marketing, the role of record labels, music publishing, touring, and more. The workshop mentors include Alysha Brilla (JUNO Award-nominated artist, songwriter and producer, session presented by Believe Music), Kathleen Reid (Agent & Managing Director, The Feldman Agency), Keziah Myers (Executive Director, ADVANCE, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective), and Matt Webb (guitarist from the JUNO Award-winning band Marianas Trench), with more to be announced soon.
Meet the 2022 MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship Recipients
Katherine Ahlf, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
Katherine Ahlf is a Métis/Settler student, pursuing a major in Music and minor in Arts & Cultural Management at the University of Alberta. Growing up and being homeschooled in rural foothills near Jasper, Katherine dreamed of being the first in her family to attend university. After graduating high school, she began the Classical Piano diploma program at Red Deer College, which ultimately inspired her to open her own music education business - with much success! Now, Katherine is nearing the end of her Bachelor of Arts degree, which has given her the skills and knowledge to return to her business and achieve her ultimate goal: to be an advocate for the importance of arts education in rural communities.
Darius Crump, Nimbus School of Recording & Media (Vancouver, BC)
Darius Crump, originally from Abbotsford, BC, is a multiracial indie artist performing under the stage name girly. Darius’ musical journey began at a young age, performing in both his middle school’s band and chapel team, but his true passion for making music came along a few years later when he got the chance to observe a friend and artist during a recording session. Darius started writing songs that same night, and he hasn’t put the pen down since. As girly, Darius is a constant learner; collaborating with peers has been integral to his craft. In 2022, he decided to take his learning a step further and enrolled in the Nimbus School’s Artist Development program - this gave him the skills and confidence to release his debut album Boyish. In releasing music, he hopes to be a beacon of positivity to his audience.
Emily Dakin, MacEwan University (Edmonton, AB)
Emily Dakin is an Edmonton-based artist, singer/songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer. She grew up taking piano and voice lessons and began writing songs long before she could write proper sentences in school. As an artist, she performs and releases music under the stage name Emme and has been writing, producing, and releasing her own work since 2020. Recently, she graduated with distinction from MacEwan University in Alberta with a Bachelor of Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music, with a major in Recording and Production. Throughout her studies, she was recognized as a distinguished vocalist and performer with the 2018 FFAC Entrance Award and the 2022 Victor-Osten Performing Arts Award. In 2022, she recorded Avalanche, a full-length, thirteen-track album as her graduate capstone project. In the coming years, she hopes to release her second album, sign with an independent label, and create national industry connections to advance her career.
Brianna Lizotte, MacEwan University (Edmonton, AB)
Brianna Lizotte is a fiddle player from Sylvan Lake, AB. She grew up in a household where music was always played, whether it was from home videos or kitchen parties. At the age of 10, most of the musicians in her family had passed away, so she took it upon herself to keep the music alive. Her first experience playing an instrument at school was in Grade 5 band class. She joined bands throughout middle school and high school, playing a variety of instruments, and started gigging around the province at just 15 years old. This has led her to many amazing opportunities like playing on TSN for the Canada Winter Games grand opening in 2019 and travelling to Rome to support the Métis delegates during their meetings with the Pope. She currently attends MacEwan University in the Bachelor of Music program, and hopes to continue learning about her culture to eventually teach the fiddle to the next generation of Métis youth.
Spencer Mackenzie, Mohawk College (Hamilton, ON)
Spencer Mackenzie was always drawn to music and fell in love with playing blues music at a young age. As a teen, he played jams locally and in the GTA, gaining confidence and mentorship along the way, ultimately inspiring the release of his debut album Infected with the Blues at just 16 years old. As more performances started to come in, Spencer not only got to showcase his music, but also got to work on his craft and passion of playing blues music. At 18, he released his second album, Cold November, which topped blues & roots charts, earned worldwide reviews, and broadened his performing opportunities, bringing him to festivals like the Tremblant International Blues Festival, the Thunder Bay Blues Festival, Trois-Rivières en Blues, and more. He decided to go to Mohawk College for the Applied Music program, where he’s been perfecting his craft and discovering a new passion - teaching guitar to the next generation of music lovers. He hopes to pursue opportunities as both an artist and educator throughout his career. In 2022, he released his third album, Preach To My Soul.
Mathew Magneson, Humber College (Toronto, ON)
Mathew Magneson is a 21 year-old Métis singer/songwriter, film scorer, and producer from Toronto, ON. Mathew’s parents were a great influence on his interest in music, both having music degrees themselves; they always encouraged and supported Mathew’s passion for music and gave him opportunities to learn a variety of instruments. Mathew loves all genres of music and pulls his sound from a variety of styles in an experimental fashion, blending tones and textures to craft new sounds for listeners far and wide. His work has garnered much success - he’s won the Under 18 category of SOCAN’s Canadian Songwriting Competition, and was one of the top three finalists in the Slaight Music Foundation’s Bullseye Indigenous Songwriting Competition. Mathew’s debut single, Eyes Forward, grabbed the attention of Hanz Zimmer Orchestra percussionist Satnam Romgotra, who helped complete the single remotely from his LA studio. The main focus of Matthew’s music is to synthesise genres and craft sounds that colour the world.
Alexandr Zelenskiy, Metalworks (Mississauga, ON)
Alexandr Zelenskiy is a 20 year-old music producer and media composer based in Mississauga, ON. As a producer, he’s completed an EP & 2 singles for a personal project, and a single for another artist. As a composer, he is currently writing music for an indie video game. Before entering the world of production, Alexandr’s journey began in his hometown Almaty, Kazakhstan, where music played an important role in his family and life. He enrolled in a jazz school and eventually in jazz bands, performing to audiences of upwards of 3000 people in Kazakhstan, Canada, and the USA. He’s earned multiple awards, including MusicFest Canada Gold and the Senior Music Award at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School. In September 2020, Alexandr started his post-secondary studies to become a Professional Audio Specialist at MetalWorks Institute, and has recently graduated with honours. Experiencing such rich and exhilarating milestones in the music industry has given him a lot of confidence and excitement to see what the future holds.