2017 Scholarship Recipients

The Friends of Brad Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the two recipients of its annual scholarship competition for young musicians in rural Northeastern Minnesota: Briona Currie of Eveleth-Gilbert High School and Olivia Skaja, who lives in Deer River and was homeschooled.


Briona Currie

Olivia Skaja

Currie has been dancing and singing since age 4. She played trumpet in the EGHS band and served as a music teacher at a Bible school. She will attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and hopes to perform on Broadway someday. Skaja has been ranked among the top five fiddlers in Minnesota since age 15. She was the 2016 Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Champion and took first place in the 2017 Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. She will pursue violin performance at St. Olaf College.


“We’re thrilled to be able to offer scholarships to two young women who are so clearly dedicated to sharing their respective talents through careers involving music performance,” says Troy Rogers, FOBMF president.


The Friends of Brad scholarship is open to high school seniors planning to pursue musical endeavors while attending college. One-time scholarships are open to student musicians residing in rural areas of St. Louis, Itasca, Lake and Cook counties (excluding Duluth). Strong preference is given to students who plan to major in music and pursue music-related careers.


This marks the seventh consecutive year of FOBMF scholarship opportunities. Past recipients include: Ali Juntunen, Deer River; Kelly Heinonen, Virginia; Kari Haaversen, Two Harbors; Samantha Mutchler, Grand Rapids; Steven Solkela, Mesabi East; Ricky “Chip” Sundstrom, Two Harbors; Aaron Wilcox, Virginia; Austin Becicka, Virginia; Ginger Lund, Deer River; Kimberly Rice, Virginia; Haylee Donnelson, Mesabi East; Justin Bohrer, Two Harbors; Byron Klimek, Chisholm; and Alayna Starr, Virginia. Learn more about FOBMF’s talented scholarship recipients: http://friendsofbrad.org/initiatives/scholarship-recipients/


The Friends of Brad Memorial Foundation

FOBMF was created to honor the memory of Bradley Edward Rozman through programs that cultivate and celebrate young Minnesota musicians. The Foundation administers a number of programs aimed towards this goal, including the music events BradFest and BradtoberFest. FOBMF is a 501(c)(3). For more information or to contribute to the cause, contact info@friendsofbrad.org or visit http://www.friendsofbrad.org.


Bradley E. Rozman

Brad Rozman lived for music. He discovered a love for drumming at a young age and pursued this passion with vigor for the rest of his life. In the early days, he formed garage bands with musician friends and led the drum line in the Virginia High School marching band. After high school, he went on to study percussion performance at St. Cloud State University and the University of Illinois-Urbana. When he returned to Minnesota after graduate school, Brad became involved in many music-making endeavors in the Duluth area, most notably as drummer for the bands High Volt Rustler and Equal Exchange. Brad’s life was cut short in May 2009 when he died unexpectedly of a seizure.




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