Lauren Harkness Wins Badger Chordhawks Chorus Vocal Scholarship

Chordhawks’ Director Christopher A. Smith presents the 2020 Vocal Scholarship to recipient Lauren Harkness in a private ceremony outside Whitewater High School (8/6/20)

August 11, 2020

JANESVILLE, Wisconsin – The Badger Chordhawks Chorus announced today the sole recipient chosen for their $2,000 Vocal Scholarship.  Since 1955, the Badger Chordhawks Vocal Scholarship has helped countless area high school students make music a part of their college studies.  Recognizing notable academic achievement, a passion for music, and an intention to pursue this passion in college and beyond, past recipients of this award include a who’s who of musical professionals.

“Supporting our community, our young people – the future generation of music – it goes to the very core of who we are and what we do,” said Music Director Christopher A. Smith.  “As a professional musician and former recipient of the Vocal Scholarship myself, I can attest that it is rare but absolutely vital for local organizations to invest in that future generation of music.  I am very proud to be a Chordhawk!”

This year’s Badger Chordhawks Vocal Scholarship recipient is: Lauren Harkness.  Lauren started singing at a very early age and credits her grandmother, a “beautiful singer”, as one of her strongest musical influences.  Lauren has appeared in numerous local productions including, most recently, 42nd Street with the School District of Janesville and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Whitewater High School.  In 2019, she received an ‘Outstanding Lead Performance’ Jerry Award from the Overture Center and subsequently was chosen to advance to the National High School Musical Theater Awards – one of only two Wisconsin high school students to receive this honor.  A graduating senior at Whitewater High School, she will be attending UW Milwaukee this fall, majoring in Versatile Voice.

“Lauren Harkness is a talented, young musician whose ideals, accomplishments, and goals exemplify everything we look for in a Vocal Scholarship recipient,” said Chordhawks’ President George Kiskunas.  “It’s fitting that this year’s Vocal Scholarship should be presented in front of a sign that reads ‘Make Good Decisions!’ because in selecting Ms. Harkness as the recipient, I believe we did.”

Over the past 60 plus years, the Badger Chordhawks Chorus has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in Vocal Scholarships.  Funding for the Badger Chordhawks Vocal Scholarship program is raised through ticket sales from Christmas with the Chordhawks – the chorus’s annual holiday-themed concert – and through private donations.


The Badger Chordhawks Chorus is an all-male vocal ensemble out of Rock County, Wisconsin.  We produce two major shows every year and also sing in many more concerts and performances throughout the community at large.  Our repertoire is vast and diverse and includes everything from pop standards and African-American spirituals to Renaissance part songs and of course, classic barbershop.  Members are selected through audition and hail from across the state.

Throughout its history, hundreds of men have sung with The Badger Chordhawks Chorus.  Our former and current guest artists include notable musicians and musical acts.  For the past 60+ years, the Chorus has awarded annual scholarships to graduating high school students, pursuing an education in music.

All men who love to sing have a standing invitation to check out our rehearsals, where every night is guest night: Mondays, 7-9pm, currently held remotely via Zoom.  For more information, please visit our website at or find us on Facebook @BadgerChordhawks.

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