Bradley Student Awarded Prestigious Music Scholarship and Designation

December 9, 2021

Dawson Ouellette, a senior percussion performance and music composition double major from Noblesville, Ind., is the recipient of this year's Presser Scholar designation from Bradley University. Along with the prestige of being this year’s honoree, he will receive a $4000 scholarship.

Ouellette is involved in Bradley's Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Symphonic Winds, Percussion Ensemble and occasionally vocal jazz, where he plays drums. In the percussion arena, his highest level of expertise is with the drum set.

He first started playing the drums when he was 11 years old. To gain additional experience, Dawson drove to Bradley's campus from his hometown, Chillicothe, Ill., throughout high school, to play with music groups that performed at The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill in Campustown. In the spring of his senior year, he also participated in the Bradley Honor Band, which allowed him to perform with Bradley's wind ensemble before he was a college student.

After Ouellette earns his bachelor's degree from Bradley, he plans to start a jazz trio or a quartet and create music inspired by his idol, Chick Corea, and blend it with his own ideas to form a unique musical voice.

The Presser Scholar designation has been awarded annually for more than 90 years. It is a prestigious honor for the recipient and a testament to the success of Bradley’s Music Department. The award is in honor of Theodore Presser, who was a noted philanthropist, publisher and educator. His foundation, the Presser Foundation, is one of the only private foundations in the country dedicated to music education.