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Meet the 2023-2024 Toni Christine Masini Memorial Marching Band Scholarship Recipient

Trumpet player Eelco Tinga IV is the 2023-2024 recipient of NC State's most prestigious Marching Band Scholarship.

Eelco Tinga IV poses as the recipient of the Toni Christine Masini Memorial Marching Band Scholarship.
Eelco Tinga IV poses as the recipient of the Toni Christine Masini Memorial Marching Band Scholarship.

The NC State Department of Performing Arts and Technology awarded Eelco Tinga IV the 2023-2024 Masini Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship preserves the memory of the late Toni Christine Masini, a dedicated student in the NC State Marching Band and Wind Ensemble. Established by Toni’s parents, Robert and Michelyn Masini, the scholarship recognizes a student who demonstrates academic and musical excellence and outstanding leadership in the marching band.

“Being chosen for this scholarship has been my biggest college honor. I am so incredibly thankful to be recognized among so many amazing students, musicians, and leaders,” said Tinga.” Toni Christine Masini and her family created a beautiful legacy, and I cannot thank them enough for their support.”

Tinga is a current senior from Wilmington, North Carolina, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with minors in Physics and Music Performance with a concentration in Trumpet. As a student at NC State, he joined both the Power Sound of the South Marching Band and the NC State Wind Ensemble, but music has been a part of his life since childhood.

“I grew up with my dad, Eelco Tinga III, playing his trumpet in local ensembles and telling me about the amazing opportunities music had brought him,” he explained. “He has always been one of my biggest role models, and this led me to join the band and spark the passion that is still growing to this day. Not only have I been on amazing adventures through music, but it has also allowed me to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of like-minded people.”

Although Tinga’s passion for music led him to find a community on campus in NC State’s Power Sound of The South, Music Performance Minor and the Wind Ensemble, it also allowed him to travel beyond the United States when the Marching Band and Wind Ensemble traveled to the United Kingdom in the summer of 2023.

“One of my favorite moments from my years here at NC State has been performing with the Wind Ensemble at the Royal College of Music in London, United Kingdom,” the student-musician recalled. “On this amazing abroad trip, I was also able to perform with the Marching Band at Cardiff Castle and for a Brighton football game. To be able to do all this with the amazing group I was with was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Robert and Michelyn, accompanied by other members of the Masini family, presented the scholarship award to Tinga during NC State’s Band Camp in August 2023. While receiving the award, he was met with the support of the Marching Band staff, faculty and student members.

The Masini family and band directors present the Toni Christine Masini Scholarship to Eelco Tinga IV during NC State’s Band Camp in August 2023. Photo courtesy of Dan Jahn.

“Music has been my gateway into so many relationships and learning opportunities,” reflected Tinga. “It has taught me how much of an impact one person can have, and how much one group can achieve together. These relationships and catalysts for growth are unique to the music field, the field I hope I will be in for my entire life.”

The Department of Performing Arts and Technology offers various scholarships for its programs, including renewable performance scholarships. Learn more on our scholarships page.