Published: Sept. 20, 2023 By

Nate Bonin and Danny Kaminski are our 2023 Sher Distinguished Musician Scholars! These students will receive full scholarships funded by John and Anna Sie who established the award in 2014.

“I’m delighted that both Nathan and Daniel have been named our next Sher Distinguished Musician Scholars, and I'm pleased that we’re able to support two exceptional music students from Colorado,” says Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies + Enrollment Management Matthew Roeder. “Nathan and Daniel are not only outstanding individuals but also exemplary musicians who will undoubtedly represent the College of Music extremely well.”

Nate BoninNate Bonin

Bonin—a Longmont native—is studying French horn performance with Professor of Horn Mike Thornton. “I chose CU Boulder because I’ve worked with Professor Thornton in the past,” he says. “My teacher in high school would take me to master classes and things that were happening at the studio here—I got to see everything and really wanted to be a part of it.”

Bonin has chosen to pursue music because it makes him feel “completely fulfilled.” 

"I’ve played in a number of ensembles and not only being a part of those groups and playing, but also being in the audience is a good experience for me—and I think it honestly is for everybody,” says Bonin who’s excited to be at the College of Music.

“This scholarship is absolutely life changing,” he adds.

Danny KaminskiDanny Kaminski 

Kaminski grew up in Colorado Springs and is studying jazz bass with Jazz Studies Lecturer Bijoux Barbosa. He chose the College of Music because he loves the faculty and the students here. “My main goal in looking at music schools was to follow where the good players are going,” Kaminski says. “Because that’s where the future of music is and that’s what I want to be a part of.

“I just can’t necessarily imagine myself being happy doing anything else. I feel like, when I play music, it’s the only time that my thoughts feel more cohesive and more streamlined and purposeful. And most importantly, why we pretty much do anything, it’s really fun.”

Kaminski’s goals for the future are to continue to push jazz music forward and bring it into the modern age. More than anything, though, Kaminski says, “I just want to help give back. I’ve had too many teachers to count, my parents, so many students, that helped me in immeasurable ways. I feel like I owe it to them and to everyone else, including the next generation, to give that back and to be a helping force.”

The Sher Distinguished Musician Scholarship will help Kaminski along that path and allows him to fully engage in his College of Music education. “I’m eternally thankful for that and I don’t think it will ever truly set in that I got a full ride. I truly don’t have the words, I’m so deeply thankful.”