Williams senior Luke Coker awarded Kenan Music Scholarship to UNC-CH

Luke Coker, son of Jeffrey and Beth Coker of Burlington and a senior at Williams High School, has won the prestigious Kenan Music Scholarship to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. The Kenan Music Scholarship covers all expenses for attending UNC, in addition to professional development and master classes with internationally renowned performers. Past winners include top high school musicians from across the country.

Coker won for his work as a composer and cellist following several rounds of interviews and auditions. He is only the third composer to win the award and the first since 2018. He is the first winner ever from Alamance County.

He began playing cello at age three, and has performed at numerous venues across the state. He joined the Williams High School Orchestra in 2020, the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2021, and the NC Honors Orchestra in 2023.

Coker taught himself to compose music while at home during the COVID lockdown of 2020. He attended the NC Governor’s School for music in the summer of 2022, and then became one of only nine high school composers in the country to be accepted into the Brevard Music Institute in 2023. Many of his compositions have been performed publicly, including “Hail and Fire” by a full symphony orchestra in Brevard. Closer to home, the Williams High School Orchestra is playing some of Luke’s composed music in their concert tonight, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. in addition to Tchaikovsky and Muse. Luke is playing cello in that same concert.

Coker volunteers at Smith Elementary, helping fourth and fifth graders in their orchestra class. For the upcoming summer, he has been accepted to attend the Cremona International Music Academy in Cremona, Italy. He will then attend the Honors College at UNC starting this fall, where he plans to major in Music.