AUSTIN -- Local nonprofit organization The Hispanic Alliance announced a new music fellowship program called Draylen Mason Fellows Program in honor of the talented 17-year-old musician killed in a package explosion at his home on March 12.
Mason was a student of the program "Austin Soundwaves," which is operated by the Hispanic Alliance. It is a program that provides access to high-quality music education across 12 schools in Central Texas.
Teachers referred to Mason as "not just a gifted musician, but an exceptional young man."
“When Draylen entered our program in middle school, we recognized right away that he had immense musical abilities,” said Patrick Slevin, CEO of The Hispanic Alliance and a mentor of Mason’s. “But with Draylen, it was so much more than that. He was a true leader and mentor to the other kids. He was always a friend first and looked out for others. He raised the bar for all of us, as musicians and as people.”
According to a press release from The Hispanic Alliance, the Draylen Mason Fellows Program is a full-scholarship initiative to honor Mason's legacy and to help further the musical and personal developments of high school musicians.
Five students will be chosen per year, and will receive intensive weekly private instruction as well as access to an international network of mentors, musicians and previous fellows. Fellows will work together throughout the year on a capstone performance project, get to participate in two summer retreats, and receive up to $2,000 to offset costs for creative work.
“We want to make sure that we honor Draylen in the most meaningful way possible,” said Slevin. “Music changed Draylen’s life, and I think he would want to see us share that gift with as many students as possible.”
For more information on the fund and to learn how you can get involved, click here.