Press Release re 2022 Scholarship Winners


Performing Arts Scholarships Awarded

Elgin, IL, May 19, 2022 – The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts proudly announces the recipients of its scholarships for the 2022-23 school year. These awards benefit post-secondary students from Chicago’s western suburbs who have demonstrated a passion for performance and declared a major in the performing arts.  This year’s winners include Harry Graham, Claudia Andrews and Devin Flores, all from St. Charles, Collin Vanderkarr of South Elgin, Danica Tuohy of Yorkville and Danika Dortch from Lindenhurst.

Danika Dortch is a 2021 graduate from Lakes Community High School and second-time scholarship recipient. She is pursuing a double major in French Horn Performance and the Written Arts at Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. There she is participating in a brass trio, woodwind quintet, Symphony Orchestra and the College Community Orchestra She has played with the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Wind Quintet and Brass Quintet. Danika also gives lessons to elementary and middle school students. Her dream is to play with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Harry Graham is a 2022 graduate of St. Charles East High School where he performed in its Chamber and Concert Orchestras. Harry started playing piano at age five, switched to viola at eight, and at age 14 he won his first concerto competition He has been performing as a violist with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2017 as well as its Maud Powell String Quartet.

Harry was the 2021 recipient of the Robert Hanson Award and has also studied at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. This fall he will study viola performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Claudia Andrews will pursue a double major in music and biology at North Central College in Naperville. She has won numerous awards playing French Horn in the West Suburban Home School Band. She also plays in the WSHS Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band and sings in the Vocal Ensemble. Claudia has also performed with the Judson University Civic Orchestra, Naperville Winds and Fox Valley Concert Band

Devin Flores has participated in more than fifty plays and musicals in multiple capacities: acting, directing, lighting design, set construction and as resident videographer at Marquee Youth Stage. A graduate of St. Charles East High School, he has more recently been studying at Elgin Community College.  Devin will pursue a Film and Television Arts major with a Stage Combat minor at Columbia College Chicago.

Danica Tuohy plays the French Horn and will major in Music Performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She is a 2022 graduate of Yorkville High School where she played with The Yorkville HS Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band and Marching Band. Danica has also performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and its Woodwind Quintet and Classical Orchestral Repertory Ensemble.

Collin Vanderkarr is a 2022 graduate of South Elgin High School where he participated in four years of marching band and received the Rhett P. Lundy drumline award for leadership and servantry. In addition to playing percussion, he also doubles on baritone saxophone. Outside of school he plays in multiple jazz combos.  Collin plans to major in Music Education at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2018. Dennis Taylor, an Elgin resident for more than 20 year, served as a dancer, choreographer, costumer, makeup artist, set dresser and wig designer for dozens of suburban theaters for more than 50 years. Donations to the Scholarship Foundation in his memory can be made on its Facebook page or at Dennis Taylor Scholarship Foundation Website.