MOUNDRIDGE — Moundridge High School percussion student and senior Kevin Vivanco-Noriega has been awarded the Arlen Fast Music Scholarship for the 2018-19 school year. Kevin is the son of Arturo Vivanco and Maria Noriega of Moundridge. Kevin will be using the scholarship to stud with Gerald Scholl, professor of percussion at Wichita State University.
"I am honored to be selected for this scholarship as this allows me to improve my percussion skills on all the percussion instruments with Professor Scholl's guidance," Kevin said.
In addition to being a percussionist at Moundridge High School, Kevin is currently in his second year as a member of the Wichita Youth Symphony and the Repertory Orchestra, and is in his first year in the Wichita Youth Wind Ensemble. He plays percussion in each of the groups. He has also twice been selected for the KMEA District 6 honor bands and once was a member of the KMEA 1-4A All-State Honor Band. Kevin's aspirations are to one day perform and teach percussion at the university level.
The scholarship was donated by Moundridge High School alum Arlen Fast ('72). Fast is currently the contrabassoonist and bassoonist with the New York Philharmonic. Fast stated that he wanted to create a scholarship for the instrumental music students of Moundridge High School to be able to pursue their dreams by gaining access to university-level instruction at an early age.
"With the right motivation and instruction, you can go anywhere you want to in the music world," Fast said.
Fast graduated from Moundridge High School and went on to study at Bethel College, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, where he focused on bassoon. While at WSU, he was a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He was then accepted into the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Opera and performed with both for 17 years. While on the west coast, he studied with famed bassoonist Norman Herzberg. In 1996, Fast joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He will start his 23rd season with the NYPO this fall.
Fast has also created a new register key (octave key) system for the contrabassoon that improves the performance characteristics of the instrument. He has worked extensively with Fox Products, a bassoon manufacturer in Indiana, to develop this system and to make other improvements to the playing qualities of the contrabassoon.