POMEROY — A love of music played an important role in the life of the late Sam Cowan and his brother Ryan. It is that musical influence that led Ryan Cowan to make a donation to the Meigs Marching Band in memory of his brother.
Ryan Cowan, a native of Middleport, who now resides in Los Angeles, California, is an educator and recently self-published his first book, “Mr. Moonbean and the Halloween Crystal.” Some of the details and characters in the book were inspired in part by teachers who Cowan had while a student at Middleport Elementary.
Cowan presented a $2,500 donation to Meigs Band Director Toney Dingess this week, with the money coming from the sale of his book during a local book signing in October and online purchases from Oct. 1-Dec. 1, 2020.
“This donation is in memory of my brother Sam and his love for music,” explained Cowan. Sam Cowan passed away in December 2019 from cancer. As a teen, Sam was the choir director at the First Baptist Church in Middleport and continued to be active in music throughout his life.
Dingess said that it is always the goal for the band to be able to present scholarships to graduates, and that this donation will go toward creating a $500 scholarship to be given away beginning this year.
“Ryan and Sam came through the music program and make an impact while they were there,” said Dingess of the brothers. “I am always proud to see former students succeed and give back. This is a very appropriate memorial to Sam.”
Ryan Cowan added that music can serve as a pathway for students to continue their education beyond high school, stating that he has a bachelor’s degree in music after being a student at Meigs High School and participating in the band program.
The Sam Cowan Memorial Scholarship will be presented along with other scholarships to Meigs High School seniors in late May.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.