Dorian Joseph is a 13-year-old Southampton Intermediate School student who has discovered a passion for music.That is why the musician—who plays both the drums and the viola—was thrilled this month to learn that he is the winner of the Frances Ligon Memorial Scholarship through East End Arts, where he has been a student for two years. Using the scholarship, Dorian plans to continue studying the two instruments and to possibly begin to dabble in the guitar as well.
Dorian said he hopes to be able to enjoy playing music for the rest of his life, noting that he finds it to be one of his favorite leisure activities. “I was pretty excited about the scholarship,” said Dorian, who first started playing music in kindergarten. “I didn’t think I would get a scholarship, so I was very happy.”
The scholarship was established in the fall of 2007 to honor the memory of Frances Ligon, who served on the board of directors for East End Arts from 2005 to 2007. She was a well-known advocate for the arts and youth education throughout the East End, according to a press release issued by the organization. The release said Ms. Ligon was an accomplished gospel singer who performed as a member of the East End Arts’ Harvest Gospel Choir for 20 years.
East End Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization that was founded in 1972. Through its school of art and an art gallery, East End Arts presents a variety of events and programs year round to promote the arts.
After a few preliminary lessons with a private instructor, Dorian started teaching himself drumming techniques. Two years ago his parents, Lambert and Doris, took him to East End Arts, where he has been working with Stanley Wright ever since.
This year, Dorian started taking viola lessons with Nicholas Orifici. The eighth-grader had already been taking viola lessons since kindergarten at Southampton Elementary School.
When not playing music, Dorian, who also loves playing sports, has participated in soccer, cross country and tennis at Southampton. He has two younger sisters—Dreanne, 10, and Marah, 7—and also loves playing video games and reading comic books and mythology.
This week, Dorian’s family said they are very proud of his accomplishments in music so far. Mr. Joseph said it is hard to describe the emotions he feels when he hears his son play, noting that his own father was an accomplished trombone player. Mr. Joseph said that while he dabbled in the guitar, it is beautiful to hear that all three of his children have a natural ability.
“There is a lot of joy and a lot of pride when they play,” Mr. Joseph said. “There is a lot of love. I always loved music, and to see my son and my daughters pick it up is very refreshing, and they seem to have a natural affinity for it.
“We have found some excellent teachers at East End Arts,” he continued. “And their school is excellent, so we are very happy they have found these people to teach them.”