Merit scholar

Medford home school student Abigail Dock has been named a winner of the 2009 National Merit Scholarship competition. Of the approximately 16,000 high school seniors across the United States only 2,500 are selected as winners of the National Merit Corporation's $2,500 scholarships. To become a finalist, a student must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by educators, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. Additionally, the student must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes an essay and information about participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Dock has pursued course of study which has included preparation for eight advanced placement tests. In 2008, her scores on those tests earned her the designation of AP Scholar with Distinction. In her 10 years as a Girl Scout, she has been actively involved in the Tomlin Forest Day Camp as a program aide and senior counselor, and she is currently completing her Gold Award project to earn Girl Scouting's highest distinction. She volunteers weekly at Hoover Elementary School as a reading assistant with the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) program. She also volunteers for and performs with Rogue Opera, most recently singing in the adult chorus in the company's performances of "La Boheme."

Her passion is singing, and she studies voice with Ellie Holt-Murray and Laurie Hunter at Southern Oregon University. She has represented Southern Oregon at the OSAA State Solo Competition for the past three years, after winning the district alto division title in 2007 and the mezzo title in 2008 and 2009. This year she was the second-place winner in the state mezzo-soprano division. In fall and winter terms, she sang with SOU's Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Fredna Grimland. She currently sings with South Medford High School's Chamber Choir under the baton of Andrea Brock, and recently went with them to the state choir competition.

In the fall, Dock will attend Rice University in Houston where she will major in vocal performance as one of only four undergraduate voice students admitted this year to the Shepherd School of Music. She will spend three weeks this summer in Washington, D.C., on a full scholarship to the Opera Institute of the Washington National Opera.

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