Mississippi Teen Awarded Scholarship from Exchange Program

Allen Bush
June 17, 2011
Steven Johnson and Terrance Stewart at the Robert Johnson Blues Museum.
Photo by Allen Bush

Terrance Stewart, 18, of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, will spend five weeks of his summer in Boston, July 9–August 12, studying at Berklee on full scholarship. The vocalist will join teens from all over the world for the Five-Week Summer Performance Program.

Stewart's scholarship comes from the Berklee Mississippi Music Exchange initiative that trades education, music, and culture between Berklee and kindred organizations throughout Mississippi. This is the fourth year that Berklee has awarded summer scholarships to students from the Crystal Springs area taking part in programs with the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation.

Stewart, a member of the Crystal Springs High School class of 2011, performed two songs for his scholarship audition, including the gospel number "He Wants It All" by Forever Jones. Stewart is a member of the Full Gospel Outreach Miracle Ministry Choir, performing at churches, school events, and weddings. He lists Usher and R. Kelly as influences. 

Steven Johnson, vice president of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation, hosted the audition at the small museum dedicated to his grandfather. The other talented scholarship hopefuls who auditioned were Antranekia Willis, Daquan Powell, Kimbriana Christmas, Tashyro Smith, and Cornisha Stringer, and they were backed by Berklee students Jazz Robertson, Eric Finland, and Noe Socha, and assistant professor Lenny Stallworth. The Berklee group subsequently performed at various venues and schools, toured blues and civil rights sites with a local historian, and auditioned more summer scholarship hopefuls in Clarksdale.