Scholarship Announcements

2018 - Colton Lewis

posted Apr 16, 2018, 5:45 PM by LBOG AA   [ updated Apr 21, 2018, 8:56 AM ]

Colton Lewis is the son of Harold and Tamara (Gear) Lewis (1978). He will be graduating from Bradenton Christian School in Bradenton, Florida. Colton is a
member of the National Honor Society, Varsity Baseball and Wrestling Teams, and the Math Club. He is co-founder of the Science and Engineering Research Team and is a Senior Research Adviser. He is an Eagle Scout with 10 Eagle Palms and has been the Ruskin Boy Scout of the Year. He is also an Assistant Scout Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. Colton has volunteered at the food bank of the Good Samaritan Mission, did ground maintenance at the Ruskin Women's Club, built and installed bird houses for the Sun City Audubon Society, and participated in the Red Hawk Ranch Service Project. He has collected and distributed food for children on behalf of Back Pack Ministries, as well as school supplies for South Africa. Colton also raised funds and oversaw a bridge and gate rehabilitation project at Little Manatee River State Park as his Eagle Scout project. He is a 2017 American Legion Boys State Delegate, and has won engineering awards from Lockheed Martin, Ricoh, and Intel. He has received the Highest Merit Award from Bradenton Christian School, and is the recipient of the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony Awards. Colton plans to attend the University of Central Florida and hopes to pursue a career in engineering, perhaps specializing in aircraft design.

2017 - Eric Ho, Konner Ross, Matthew Twargoski

posted Apr 22, 2017, 8:05 AM by LBOG AA   [ updated Apr 23, 2017, 4:26 PM ]

Eric Ho will be graduating from Largo High School, where he is a member of the
 Golden Strings Orchestra. He is the son of David Ho. Eric has been playing the cello
since 7th grade, and aside from playing in the Golden Strings, also performs in the Silver Strings and is an accomplished soloist. He has been a member of the Pinellas All County Orchestra for the past three years. Eric is also a member of the National Honor Society, and has been the Music Student of the Year and Biology Student of the Year, and has received a Largo High Academic Honors Letter. Eric is active in Karate, having achieved the Uechi Ryu Karate 2nd Degree Blackbelt. He mentors young students in Karate, and is an instructor for the Largo Parks and Recreation Department. Eric has also participated in the Largo Parks and Recreation Department Invasive Species Removal. Eric will be attending Vanderbilt University and will Major in Chemistry and Minor in Music Performance. He hopes to become a researcher and university professor in Chemistry.

Konner Ross will be graduating from Largo High School, where she is a member of
the Band of Gold. She is the daughter of Carolyn Ross. Konner is a member of the National Honor Society, President of the Rho Kappa National Honor Society, and Historian of the National Art Honor Society. She has received departmental awards in English, Geometry, Language and Composition, Social Studies, Chemistry, Human Geography, and Pre-Calculus. She has received the Most Improved Musician Award, and is class Valedictorian for the 2016-17 school year. Konner has received the Youth Appreciation Award from the Downtown Optimist Club and was selected, as part of a nationwide competition, to make a presentation honoring a fallen World War II soldier. This presentation included researching the life of a local soldier and then traveling to France to read a eulogy during a ceremony at Normandy. Konner is a children's church teacher at Seminole Assembly of God, volunteers for the Florida Boxer Rescue, and participated in the Free Book Libraries for the Community project. Konner will be attending Rollins College where she will major in History. She hopes to become the curator at a museum, and travel to learn the history of the people of the world. 

Matthew Twargoski is the son of Paul Twargoski (Class of 1980). He will be
graduating from Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota, Florida where he is President of the National Honor Society, Co-Founder and Co-President of the Political Debate Club, and Treasurer of the French Club. He was Treasurer of his Freshman Class and Vice President of his Sophomore Class. Matthew is an Altar Server for St. Martha Catholic Church, member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society, and a voting member of the Sarasota Literacy Council, where he recently co-authored a grant for a new computer system. He is a student teacher at the Pinnacle Academy School for Autism, where he collected over 3000 books for the upper class library as part of the school Book Drive. Matthew will be attending the University of Notre Dame, where he will Major in History. He hopes to pursue a career in Law. 

2016 - Keely Durbak, Maxwell Wunderlin

posted May 8, 2016, 6:09 PM by LBOG AA   [ updated May 14, 2016, 9:42 AM ]

Keely Durbak is the daughter of Cathy (Coleman) Durbak (1976). She graduated
from Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater in 2015, and currently attends the University of Florida. In High School, Keely was President of her National Honor Society chapter and a member of Rho Kappa, Spanish National Honor Society, Key Club, Film Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At the 2015 State Track Meet, Keely medalled in the in the 100 and 200 meter and the 100 meter relay. She also coached and officiated at youth volleyball and basketball camps and volunteered at the UPARC Festival of Trees, where she organized the arts and crafts section. At the University of Florida, Keely is a member of the UF Alumni Association, Society of Women Engineers, and Gator Motorsports. As a member of Gator Motorsports, she is assisting in the construction of a Formula One sports car. This summer Keely hopes to obtain an intern position to help her expand her knowledge in Chemical and Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering. She plans to graduate with a degree in Engineering.

Maxwell Wunderlin is the son of Michael Wunderlin (1978). He is also the nephew of
Mark Wunderlin (1977), Cheryl (Wunderlin) Gatzka (1976), Diane (Wunderlin) Peach (1976), Brian Wunderlin (1981), and Beth (Wunderlin) Feretti (1982). He will be graduating from Williamsville High School in Williamsville, New York. Maxwell is a member of the indoor and outdoor track team, Interact Club, American Field Service, and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). He is also first chair tenor saxophone in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble. In addition, Maxwell is an Eagle Scout and is the Director of an Advanced Leadership Training Course. He directed the remodeling of the children's area in a clinic that serves a large refugee population in Buffalo. As part of this project, Maxwell arranged for a donation of toys from Fisher-Price so that children visiting the clinic would feel more comfortable in a frightening environment. In college, Maxwell hopes to obtain a Masters Degree in Business Communication or Advertising/Design.

2015 - Alec Emser, Erin Phaneuf

posted May 17, 2015, 5:05 PM by LBOG AA   [ updated May 23, 2015, 8:06 PM ]

Alec Emser recently graduated from Largo High School and was the Class of 2015 Salutatorian.  He is the son of Alec and Patricia Emser.  Alec was a member of the Band of Gold and principal bassoonist in the Florida All-State Band.  He was President of the Mary Evans Chapter of the National Honor Society, and was the founder and President of the Largo High Chapter of the Math Honor Society.  Alec was also a member of the Pinellas All-Star Academic Team. In June he will be representing the State of Florida as part of a six member academic team, competing in a "Jeopardy" style national competition (Florida is the defending champion).  Alec is founder of the first U19 Ultimate Frisbee Team in Pinellas County and Captain of the "Largo Fighting Citrus" Frisbee Team.  In his freshman year, Alec founded a peer tutoring program at Largo High to assist math and science students, including Spanish language only students. He continued as lead tutor during his time at Largo. Alec will be attending Yale University and will major in Physics.

Erin Phaneuf graduated from Pilgrim High School in Warwick, Rhode Island and has completed her sophomore year at Rhode Island College.  Erin is the daughter of Victor (1975) and Eileen Phaneuf.  While at Pilgrim High, Erin was a member of the Track Team and Captain of the Cross Country Team.  She was a member of the AFS Club, Spanish National Honor Society, and National Honor Society.  She was the recipient of the Female Cross Country Sportsmanship of the Year Award in 2011 and the Female Sportsmanship of the Year Award in 2012.  At Rhode Island College Erin is a marathon runner and health coach.  She is pursuing a degree in Community Health and Wellness with a minor in Coaching.  Ultimately, Erin hopes to open a natural movement gym for young people so they can learn early in life to love physical activity.    

2012 - Christopher Alan Cates

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:31 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Jan 21, 2017, 2:25 PM by LBOG AA ]

The Largo Band of Gold Alumni Association has announced that Christopher Alan Cates is the winner of the sixth annual Robert R. Cotter Memorial Scholarship. Chris is the son of Ed and Tammy Cates of Bossier City, Louisiana and is the great nephew of Judge Joseph Donahey (Staff, 1973-1980).

Chris is completing his senior year at Parkway High School in Bossier City where he has been a member of the Pride of Pantherland Marching Band and lead trumpet in the Wind Ensemble. He has been a member of the Golf Team, Baseball Team, Mu Alpha Theta, ASTRA, and has been President of the 4-H Parkway High Club. In the community he has worked as a volunteer for 4-H, Toys for Tots, Shreveport K-9 Search and Rescue, and the Glen Retirement System Canine Comrades. Chris has been a student tutor and trumpet tutor, and played the trumpet for Full Military Honors Funerals. He has also participated in the St. Judes Going the Distance Walk, volunteered at the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, and coordinated a blood drive for a seriously ill girl. Chris plans on attending Centenary College of Louisiana and major in Biology/Pre-Med. He later plans to attend LSUS Medical School in Shreveport to complete his Medical Degree. 

2015 Update.  Chris is in his senior year as a biology major at Centenary College.  He has completed research at Texas A&M and has just been hired as a student worker at a pediatric research lab.  Chris is still active in music, playing in the orchestra and brass ensemble.  He is Vice President of his fraternity and was active in freshmen orientation this year.  After graduation Chris plans on continuing to work at the lab and then attend graduate school to become a physician's assistant. 

2017 Update. Chris has completed his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology at Centenary College. He continued his involvement in the local youth orchestra and Greek life. He was also a member of the Golf Team. Moving forward, Chris is now pursuing a second degree, this time in Respiratory Therapy. After completing that program in two years, Chris will either move on to Medical or Physician's Assistant School.

The Robert R. Cotter Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating high school senior who most exemplifies the teachings of former Band of Gold Director Robert Cotter. This will be the tenth scholarship awarded. Starting in 2012 the scholarship amount was increased from $1000 to $2000 due to the rising costs of a college education. Applications for the 2013 scholarship will be available on this website in December. Applicants must be a current member of the Largo High School instrumental music program or be related to a Band of Gold graduate or staff member. The scholarships are funded entirely from donations and the sale of Band of Gold merchandise. The Band of Gold Alumni Association has been approved as a charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service, so donations are tax deductible. 

Those interested in supporting the Scholarship Fund are urged to click on the 'Donate' button to give through PayPal or send donations to:

Robert R. Cotter Memorial Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 432
West Palm Beach, FL  33402

2011 - Nicolette Bartello, Erik Walter Schroeder

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:30 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Nov 8, 2015, 4:11 PM by LBOG AA ]

Nicolette Bartello is the daughter of Steven and Candace Bartello (1980).  She recently graduated from Largo High School where she was the Band of Gold Drum Major.  Nicolette also participated in Winterguard, Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, All County Band, and was Vice President of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the National English Honor Society, and a member of the Rho Kappa History Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society.  She volunteered at Largo Middle School as both a Tech for their Winterguard and as an academic tutor.  Nicolette has also been a Camp Counselor at Ric Martin's Martial Arts.  She hopes to pursue a career in medicine and music by first becoming an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and then earning a Doctorate in Music Therapy.

2015 Update:  Nicolette will be graduating from the University of Central Florida in December with a degree in Hospitality Management.  During her time at UCF she has been a member of the Marching Knights as well as the Pegasus Winter Guard.  In 2013, Pegasus received first place at the WGI World Championships in the Open Class, and in 2014 they placed 8th in the World Class.  Nicolette has applied for Management Internships within the Hospitality Industry so that upon graduation she can begin her career endeavors.

Erik Walter Schroeder is the son of Karl and Deborah (Whitmill) Schroeder (1978).  He recently graduated from East Lake High School Academy of Engineering in Tarpon Springs where he was the Vice President of the Robotics Team, and a member of the German Club, Swim Team, Dive Team, and the Screaming Eagle T-Shirt Cannon Team.  Erik has participated in the collection and delivery of school supplies for a New Orleans high school affected by Hurricane Katrina, collected school supplies for students in Trujilo, Honduras, collected toys and clothing for residents of Kwazula-Natal, South Africa, and has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and March of Dimes Walk America. He plans to attend the University of Central Florida and major in Aeronautical Engineering and minor in Mechanical Engineering.

2010 - Brittany Morgan Himes, Megan Lenore Larsen

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:30 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Jul 22, 2012, 7:08 PM ]

Brittany Morgan Himes of Allen, Texas is the daughter of Mark and Karen (Ansell) Himes (1978).  She is a graduate of Allen High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Principal's Advisory Council, the Ready Set Teach Intern Program, and Parent/Teacher/Student Association.  She was a member of the All-Region concert band, Allen High School Full Orchestra, and was the Allen Eagle Escadrille Band Drum Major.  Brittany is active in the Girl Scouts of America and the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.    She has received the PTSA Citizenship Award, Texas Music Educators Association Award, United States Achievement Academy Award, and the Girl Scouts of America Silver and Bronze Service Awards.  Brittany will be attending Texas A&M University and hopes to pursue a career in Mathematics Education.
Brittany Morgan Himes
2011 Update: Brittany is currently attending Blinn College in Brenham, Texas where she will be entering her sophomore year as a Mathematics major.  She also does volunteer work at a local elementary school.  She hopes to enter Texas A&M for her junior year, and continue her education through the Doctorate level.  She aspires to become a Mathematics Professor.

Megan Lenore Larsen of Raleigh, North Carolina is the daughter of Mike and Kathy (Baker) Larsen (1975).  She is a graduate of Wake Christian Academy where she was a member of the High School String Orchestra, National Beta Club, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and Captain of the Cross Country Team.  She has been involved with mission work at a school for the deaf in Jamaica, an Indian reservation in Omak, Washington, and participated in post Katrina construction in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  In addition she has assisted with the Miracle League, a softball league for diabled children and Adopt-a-Creek clean up.  She has been a member of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic, All State Eastern Regional Orchestra, and received academic awards in History, Chemistry, English, and Bible studies.  Megan will be attending Campbell University, and hopes to pursue a career in Elementary Education, perhaps working with deaf children.

Megan Lenore Larsen
2011 Update: Megan is entering her sophomore year at Campbell University with a major in Special Education and a minor in Music.  She plays the viola in the University String Ensemble and is a member of the Presidential Scholar Club and Honors Program.  During the summer of 2011 she worked as a Special Education camp counselor at a program sponsored by the City of Raleigh.  Megan hopes to continue her dream of working with special education needs children.
2012 Update: Megan continues her college career at Campbell University and will be entering her junior year this fall.  Her major is still Special Education with a minor in Music.  In addition to her other activities, she spent this school year as a member of a club that teaches exceptional children.  This summer she is working at a camp for special needs children, and will travel to Honduras as part of a church mission trip.

2009 - Princeton Adam Jackson

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:29 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Jul 19, 2012, 5:09 AM ]

Princeton Adam Jackson

Princeton Adam Jackson was awarded the fifth Robert R. Cotter Memorial Scholarship as part of the annual awards ceremony at Largo High on May 26.  Adam is a member of the current Band of Gold as well as Largo's Phoenix Indoor Percussion Ensemble.  He is a member or the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Magnet Advisory Committee, and 5000 Role Models of Excellence.  Adam participates in the Help-a-Child Program and has been the recipient of the Mac J. Williams and Joseph L. Carwise Awards.

2008 - Jessica Ringelspaugh, Kendall Rybolt, Zachery Rygiel

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:28 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Nov 8, 2015, 4:20 PM by LBOG AA ]

Jessica Ringelspaugh is the daughter of Band of Gold graduates David Ringelspaugh (1974) and Isabel Rodriguez Ringelspaugh (1976) and attends East Lake High School. Jessica is a member of the National Honor Society, Founding Vice-president of the History National Honor Society, Captain of the Varsity Soccer Team, and was her Junior Class Vice-president. She is active in Special Olympics, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is a columnist on the school newspaper. Jessica will be attending the University of Florida, and hopes to earn a Master's Degree in Communications.

2011 Update: Jessica is entering her senior year at the University of Florida. She is majoring in Health Education and Behavior, with a minor in Mass Communications. She is Vice President of Kappa Delta and has just completed an internship with the American Heart Association. 
2012 Update: Jessica graduated from the University of Florida on May 5 with a Bachelors degree in Health Education and Behavior, with a specialization in Health Promotion, and a Minor in Mass Communications. Wasting little time, she has accepted a position as Director of Expansion and Social Media Marketing at Study Edge, a tutoring company for various schools in the Southeast, based in Gainesville, Florida. She hopes her new career is half as much fun as the past four years have been.

2015 Update:  Jessica has been working at Cousin Corporation of America in Largo as Marketing Coordinator for over two years.  She is living in Tampa, and enjoys all the area has to offer.  She has recently taught herself how to cook and has a lot of fun trying out new recipes. 

Kendall Rybolt is a member of the current Band of Gold, as well as a number of auxiliary units, and is the daughter of Ron and Melissa Rybolt. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, and Tri-M. She is also a member of the 2008 Florida All-State Symphonic Band, and is a volunteer at Largo Middle School. Kendall will be majoring in Music at the University of South Florida and hopes to earn a Doctorate in Music. 
2011 Update: Kendall will be entering her senior year at the University of South Florida, and plans to graduate in the spring. She is majoring in Music Performance. Kendall plays the flute in the symphony orchestra and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota. She aspires to be a Music Professor.

Zachary Rygiel is the son of Band of Gold graduate Rebecca Brockhoff (1974), and is also related to Mark Brockhoff (1973), Michael Brockhoff (1975), and Beth Brockhoff (1985). Zachary is a member of Rho Kappa, Tri-M, Drama Club, Editor-in-Chief of the Packer Press, and President of the Largo National Honor Society. He has participated in a number of Choral events at Largo High and is a member of the All-State Mixed Chorus and Sight-reading Chorus, and is a Seminole Community Library Reading Mentor. Zachary will be attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and will double major in Voice and Organ Performance.
2011 Update: Zachary is entering his senior year at St. Olaf college. He is majoring in Church Music and Organ Performance. Zachary states that he has "found his passion." He applies his training by substituting at Florida churches during the summer months. At St. Olaf he studies Organ, Church Music, and Voice. He periodically serves as organist and cantor at church services on campus. He is a member of the St. Olaf Choir, and enjoyed touring the Midwest last January. In addition, he has toured with the St. Olaf Organ Department to New York City in January 2010, where he and his peers presented a concert to benefit those affected by the disaster in Haiti. In September 2010, he was invited to a church in Schaumburg, Illinois to perform an organ music concert as part of a ceremony dedicating a new pipe organ. Zachary hopes to continue on to graduate school while continuing to work for the Church.

Kendall Rybolt, Zachary Rygiel, Jessica Ringelspaugh

2007 - Rebecca Brodie

posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:25 AM by Largo Gold   [ updated Jul 19, 2012, 5:13 AM ]

The Largo Band of Gold Alumni Association awarded its first Robert R. Cotter Memorial Scholarship to 
Rebecca Brodie as part of the annual awards ceremony at Largo High School on May 14, 2007. Miss Brodie is active in the current Band of Gold, playing trumpet in the marching, concert, and jazz bands. Her volunteer activities include work at Seminole Elementary School and Bay Pines Veterans Hospital. Miss Brodie plans to pursue a career in Education and hopes to become an elementary school teacher. She will also minor in Music as part of her college education. Current Band of Gold director Chris Benoit was enthusiastic about the selection, saying that Miss Brodie was well deserving of the award due to her dedication to the Band.

      Rebecca Brodie and Bob Cotter Jr.

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