Two SSHS seniors heading to college on music scholarships |

Two SSHS seniors heading to college on music scholarships

Teresa Ristow

— While many of their peers were crossing their fingers for an opportunity to play college sports, two Steamboat Springs High School seniors were auditioning for competitive music scholarships instead.

After graduation, SSHS senior Melissa Requist will pack up her flute and head to the University of Arizona, where she'll join the Fred Fox School of Music, while classmate Jenna Kramer will take her violin to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she will study at the school's College of Music.

Requist, 18, said she's loved the flute since she joined the school district's fifth-grade band program seven years ago, and she's continued in school band programs since.

"I just really liked the flute, and I wanted to play," Requist said. "I like the tone and the different things it can do."

She's performed with the Colorado All-State Concert Band and All-State Orchestra, University of Colorado Honor Band and in a Northwest Colorado high school honor band.

Requist received a partial scholarship to the University of Arizona for music and other scholarships for her academic performance.

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Requist plans to double major in music and biomedical engineering and expects she will have to work hard to juggle her numerous college responsibilities.

"I'm going to have to do a lot of work to balance it right," she said. "Because an engineering degree isn't a piece of cake, either."

Kramer, who has played as part of the Colorado All-State Orchestra and the Western States Honor Orchestra, has been studying violin for a decade.

"I begged my mom to let me play violin," Kramer recalls. "I though it was a super pretty instrument."

Each weekend, Kramer travels to practice with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and in June, the group plans to tour New York City performing, including a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Always more artistic than athletic, Kramer, 17, decided a couple of years ago she would pursue music in college, and she expects all her time to be devoted to studying music theory, practicing and performing.

The young musicians said they are both thankful for growing up in a musically rich town such as Steamboat.

"We've really been fortunate to grow up in a town with as many musical opportunities as we have here," Kramer said. "For a small town, there's a lot."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow