Work with children earns scholarship

Apr 04, 2002, vol. 23, no. 7
By Carol Thorbes

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Peter Abando's passion for writing and performing music, and working with children has earned the third year bachelor of fine arts student the newly created Charlotte Lonneberg scholarship.

The $500 award from the Theatrix Youtheatre recognizes Abando's prolific contributions to original theatrical pieces conceived by children aged 5 to 19 at Theatrix. He is the first recipient.

Since 1999 Abando has collaborated with children on the creation of dozens of musical scores, lyrics and sound pieces for their plays. He is also frequently a musical accompanist on their productions. Until recently, much of Abando's work has been on a volunteer basis.

“We wanted to create a scholarship that recognizes Peter's great volunteerism and that supports his post-secondary education,” says Deborah Solberg. She is the artistic director of Theatrix Youtheatre, a non-profit group devoted to fostering the creation of original theatre by children. “Peter is a brilliant musician, composer and lyricist,” says Solberg. “The kids just love him.”

Abando, a resident of Coquitlam, says of his award, “It means an incredible amount to me, as the regular cast and crew at Theatrix are like a second family to me.”

Abando's scholarship was created in memory of the late Charlotte Lonneberg. The Coquitlam resident and watercolourist was a champion of the arts and culture in the Tri-Cities.

Lonneberg was also a former president of the Dogwood Pavilion seniors centre, which raised most of the money to create a scholarship in her name.

Abando composed some of the music for Once Upon a Fairy Tale, a new Theatrix production running at Terry Fox theatre in Port Coquitlam.

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