Leading Note Studios teacher chosen for University of Denver scholarship

Autumn Raynne Murphy is a senior at Torrey Pines High School and teaches cello at Leading Note Studios in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

Leading Note Studios teacher Autumn Raynne Murphy was awarded the prestigious Native American Scholarship for the University of Denver, covering all funds for tuition, fees, housing, meals and books for the entire four academic years of her study there.

The University of Denver only selects one applicant every year. The decision is based on academic standing and an essay about how the applying student will give back to their Native American community while at the University.

Autumn is a senior at Torrey Pines High School. She’s been playing cello since she was 10 years old and teaches young children at Leading Note Studios in Encinitas. Autumn is bright, motivated and considerate. You wouldn’t know that her upbringing was quite different from that of the typical modern American teen.

Autumn grew up in the lively Taos Pueblo Reservation. She experienced the magic and beauty of a culture closely in tune with nature, with a vibrant, close-knit community. Along with the beauty of the reservation, she also experienced firsthand the poverty and lack of education opportunities for her generation.

In her time at Leading Note Studios, Autumn discovered a passion for audio and music engineering. One moment in the recording studio was pivotal for her. Autumn was interning and had an opportunity to record a cello piece she’d been working on. “I remember watching myself on the screen and hearing myself play. It brought up such a mix of emotions! In that moment, I felt ‘This is it!’ I want to give this experience to people.”

During her time at the University of Denver, Autumn intends to create a program for middle school and high school Native American students to develop interests and skills in engineering, science and audio production. The program will include field trips to the university with exhibits and supportive meet-up groups.