West High’s Sterling Scholars

Adelaide Parker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After a tumultuous year online, West High has finally begun school in person, launching into a new year of academic achievement with the announcement of West’s 2021-2022 Sterling Scholars. The Sterling Scholar program recognizes outstanding Utah students and their achievements in a variety of academic areas. Schools select Sterling Scholars to represent fourteen different disciplines. This year, West’s Sterling Scholars are Alicia Du (Business), Fifi Teklemedhin (Computer Technology), Terra Killpack-Knutsen (Dance), Adelaide Parker (English), Adeline Eresuma (Family and Consumer Sciences), Andrew Dunstan (Math), Doruk Toydemir (Instrumental Music), Malavika Singh (Science), Angie De La Cruz (Skilled and Technical Sciences), Arundhati Oommen (Social Sciences), Robert Sterling Peterson (Theater Arts/Speech/Forensics), Sadie Gray (Visual Arts), Vivian Marcoux (Vocal Music), and Elizabeth Maughan (World Languages).

I interviewed West’s Instrumental Music Sterling Scholar, Doruk Toydemir, about his interest in music and involvement in the Sterling Scholar program:

Why did you run for instrumental music Sterling Scholar?

“I ran for Sterling Scholar because I connect strongly with music and enjoy the creative expression that it allows me to pursue!”

How did you become interested in music?

“I have always loved music, and ever since I was a kid I’ve always danced and sang along with every song that I could. I became interested in piano when I was 5 and my brother started learning how to play piano. I was always very jealous because his playing sounded so cool. [I realized that when] I sat down at the keys I could figure out how to play like him, so I asked my parents to let me learn.”

What do you like about music?

“I like the expression and freedom in music. Learning notes, adding your adaptations and mastering a song help me express my emotions to myself and those around me. This also applies to listening to music. Being able to pick songs based on a mood, a genre, a memory, a feeling, music can evoke so much within a person. It’s truly amazing to me.”

What do you like about the Sterling Scholar program?

“I like how the program emphasizes more than just talent, but also participation within a community. I think that talent is a very important criteria, but being able to use that talent to help those around you is what can really make you an outstanding person. We need more people to help others and I think that an award that focuses on those aspects push all of us to be better.”

Do you have any tips for people who want to get more involved with music at West?

“JOIN BAND! If you are interested in music at West there are so many opportunities for you! From vocals to percussion. From guitar to orchestra, or even concert and jazz band. If you don’t have room in your schedule for an extra class, no worries! There is also a music club at west high, and if you email me ([email protected]) I can give you all the details. West offers opportunities to perform, practice and learn in all areas of music!”

West’s Sterling Scholars will go on to compete at the state level, where they will be interviewed for the chance to win Utah scholarships. Good luck competitors!