“Some people are just meant to be musicians and I was one of them.”
So began the musical life of Connie Kenninger of Lexington, who began taking piano lessons at age 9. She majored in music education at Ball State University and later continued vocal lessons at the University of Indianapolis. She sang for one season with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir while living in Indianapolis.
Connie and her husband, Bob, have been married for over 45 years. They have three daughters, Sheila, Lisa and Tricia, and four grandchildren. She is a retired Funeral Director who is now employed with New Hope Services/Futures UnLTD.
“Music has always been a very important part of my life. I can sit at the keyboard and play for hours,” said Connie. She has been either a pianist, organist or choir director for 51 years in various churches and has been a member of the Oratorial Choir at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. She presently is the organist/director of music for the Salem Presbyterian Church. Connie teaches piano and hopes to someday in the near future give organ lessons as she has purchased an organ from a church in Indianapolis. “Many churches have moved away from organ music,” she said wistfully, “but those churches that remain sometimes have difficult finding organists.”
Connie is also president of our local Lyric Club which is comprised of music teachers and non-professional musicians. One goal of the organization is to give scholarships to those who want to major in music education while at college. Another goal is to supplement payment for private lessons for promising young musicians who might not otherwise afford to continue. No one knows how long a particular club will continue to exist and knowing the value of this service for Scott County students, Connie felt that something more permanent should be established.
Thus, the Kenninger Music Education Fund was established with the Scott County Community Foundation, knowing that a fund with the Foundation would be around forever and continue to grow each year. While the fund will eventually award grants for music scholarships, it also will help pay for lessons or buy musical instruments that a student may not otherwise afford. If a music teacher feels a student could benefit from private lessons to enhance their ability, the music fund will be able to assist.
Studies have been made and state that students who study music do better in math. “I’m not sure it helped me in math but I will say that it taught me discipline and gave me a sense of accomplishment and self confidence,” said Connie. “Most of all it became an outlet for relief during the tough times in my life. I don’t want music to not happen for the children here in Scott County. Some of our greatest music artists came from financially impaired backgrounds. Wouldn’t it be great if this fund could be the catalyst for someone from Scott County to become another great artist?”