Inaugural Mac Sabol Memorial Scholarship, honors chorus members legacy

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Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 3:48 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- After nearly a year of planning, two local high school students received the first-ever Mac Sabol Memorial Scholarship.

Mac Sabol was a talented, valuable member of the Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus who passed away in May of 2021.

Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus Member John Rice said Mac was loved by all.

“He first encountered Barbershop music when he was at Bowling Green University where he got his master’s in choral directing,” Rice said. “He loved the harmonies that he heard from barbershop and he stuck with that for the rest of his life.”

Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus President Gil Durham said the Mac Sabol Memorial Scholarship was started as a way to perpetuate Mac’s legacy.

“His loss was devastating and we didn’t want that loss to have a negative effect in fact we’re confident that Mac would want us to do something positive with it,” Durham said. “We decided that we would create a scholarship for high school students pursuing a career in music education.”

Starting in 2022 annual scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to two deserving graduating seniors from high schools in the Southern Tier.

Matthew Beach, from Seton Catholic Central High School and Zach Smith from Maine-Endwell High School were this year’s recipients.

“We were very pleased with the awardees and we let the schools select them,” Durham said.

Durham said every year the Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus participates in a benefit concert for CHOW.

“Seton Catholic and Maine-Endwell have sent quartets or chorus groups to participate with us during this concert and we wanted to honor Mac by including those schools,” Durham said.

Rice said the Southerntiersmen Barbershop Chorus has set up a dedicated fund in Mac’s name to support music education and his legacy.

Mac Sabol Scholarship recipient Zachary Smith with Dr. Juliana Sabol.
Mac Sabol Scholarship recipient Zachary Smith with Dr. Juliana Sabol.(WBNG 12 News)
Mac Sabol Memorial Scholarship recipient Matthew Beach with Dr. Juliana Sabol.
Mac Sabol Memorial Scholarship recipient Matthew Beach with Dr. Juliana Sabol.(WBNG 12 News)