susie moscovich presents is all about promoting local talent. The Virginia Graczak Music Scholarship(VGMS), encompassing the Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award, was founded by Susie and Dr. Michael Moscovich in 2001 to encourage and promote the arts in young people in School Districts 71 & 72. It consists of an annual scholarship award (VGMS) in both piano and voice, administered by the Campbell River Friends of Music and the Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award, administered by North Island College. Since its inception, The VGMS has raised over $100,000. The Moscoviches started raising funds by holding dinner concerts in their home. However, after downsizing, with the help of the CR Friends of Music, susie started producing concerts to continue to raise funds for the VGMS. The objective of these concerts is to promote local talent and to raise funds for the continuation of VGMS.
All funds raised are administered and presented
by the C.R. Friends of Music. Information, requirements and application forms for the VGMS can be found at: https://campbellriverfriendsofmusic.com.
The VGMS is named after Mother Virginia Graczak, an Ursuline nun who taught piano at the Villa Maria Academy in Frontenac, Minnesota, where Susie Moscovich - the founder of the scholarship - furthered her piano studies.
Says Susie: "Piano was a big part of my life, and so was Mother Virginia. Because my maiden name is 'Gracza', which is so close to 'Graczak', Mother Virginia and I always assumed we were somehow distantly related. It just felt right that I name the scholarship after her."
Susie, with her husband, Dr. Michael Moscovich, retired to Campbell River in 2001, and both wanted to give back to the community they now called home. They decided that an arts scholarship, which included piano, voice and fine art, would be good way to do so. Combining Michael's passion for cooking, and Susie's passion for entertaining and music, the two hosted "black tie" galas in their home. The evenings featured performances by VGMS hopefuls and previous recipients on their grand Bosendorfer piano as well as elaborate chef creations, cooked by Michael.
Because the VGMS is open to school districts 71 and 72, the concerts were held over two evenings, with approximately 40 people attending each night. When the Moscovichs downsized, they didn't let the scholarship go -- they just changed the fundraising method. Now, Susie raises funds for the scholarship by producing concerts that promote the VGMS winners.
The Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award, administered by the North Island College, Courtenay, B.C. (NIC) Art Department, is named after Susie's stepmother, Margaret Young Gracza. Margaret graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Fine Art. She was a Fulbright Scholar, studying art at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Margaret, along with Susie's dad, Ralph, also published a series of children's books on art. Margaret worked in the education department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and was very involved in the introduction of the Children's Theatre program at the MIA.