Music student Bordelon-Ross wins prestigious TAMS scholarship

Connor Bordelon-Ross (center) performs in the Lamar Drumline.

Junior music major Connor Bordelon-Ross always keeps the beat. His long fingers constantly tap out a tune as he talks about his passion for percussion and his experiences in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar University. It is this boundless energy and enthusiasm for his craft that helped Bordelon-Ross secure the highly competitive Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship administered by the Texas Association of Music Schools.

A native of Rosenberg, Bordelon-Ross performs in the Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and World-Drumming Ensemble at Lamar. He also teaches private music lessons at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School.

“Connor is very driven,” said Travis Fife, director of percussion studies. “He’s always trying to push himself to be better and be in the leadership roles. He works hard, and it makes sense that he received this scholarship. He’s professional and prepared, and looks for ways to grow his knowledge of percussion.”

Full-time music majors enrolled in a Texas Association of Music Schools member institution of higher education are eligible to apply for the Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship. Recipients from four-year state institutions such as Lamar University receive $6,000 per year. The scholarship is renewable up to four years to cover expenses until the student graduates. Applicants apply during the second semester of their freshman year.

“He’s a top player, and you can’t find a more reliable student in all areas,” said Kurt Gilman, chair of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. “Connor helps other students, he teaches private lessons, and he’s always at the forefront of organizing student events.”

After he graduates, Bordelon-Ross plans to teach music, with an emphasis on percussion, at the high school level. His long-term goal is to earn a master’s degree in music and teach at a university, a goal inspired by his time at Lamar.

“The faculty and staff in the music department are so kind and helpful that I really feel like I am important,” said Bordelon-Ross. “Just being part of this department and seeing these people everyday makes it feel like a second family.”

Bordelon-Ross plays a number of percussion instruments, including “any kind of drum,” keyboards and the marimba, which he counts as his favorite instrument.

“The scholarship has helped out tremendously,” said Bordelon-Ross. “You’re competing with students not only at your school, but throughout the state of Texas, so I was very honored to receive it.”

For more information on the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar University, visit or call (409) 880-8144. n