Ian Kendal Simensen was born on August 12, 1986 in Portland, Oregon to Randy and Lerese Simensen and grew up in Vancouver, Washington. He spent his childhood enjoying music and sports and became a staunch fan of the Denver Broncos at the early age of eight. In high school, his family moved to Auburn, Wash. where he attended Auburn Riverside High School and it was here that his musical talent with the trumpet began to evolve. Ian excelled academically and especially enjoyed all things band and playing league soccer.

After high school, Ian attended the University of Washington and graduated in 2009 with a major in Music Education. Ian also received his Master of Music degree from American Band College. His favorite memories of college were of his Husky Marching Band friends and experiences.

In 2009, Ian moved to the Skagit Valley to teach band in Anacortes. Ian's love of music and unbridled enthusiasm helped him turn the Anacortes band program into a thriving, competitive, and award winning program. He won the Walter A. Brodniak Cultural Education award in 2013. Ian believed the arts as a whole connected us to ourselves and each other. Ian was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2016. He fought valiantly for the next 13 months and passed away at the age of 31 on Sept. 17, 2017, surrounded by the love of family and friends.

Selection Criteria

  1. Need-based
  2. Awarded to a student wishing to pursue a degree in music performance or music education at a 2-year, 4-year or specialty performing arts school.
  3. Preference to student with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or better
  4. Preference to student who has participated in band in high school