Oct. 10, 2012/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM – Four high school seniors at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Association. Daniel Simms and Erica Sloan are National Merit semifinalists, and Will Dixon and Sydel Fisher are commended students.

Daniel Simms is studying trombone in the School of Music in his first year at UNCSA. He is the son of Alison Ho and Lawrence Simms of New York City.

Erica Sloan is studying ballet in the School of Dance in her third year at UNCSA. She is the daughter of Dean and Gale Sloan of Charlotte.

Will Dixon is studying cello in the School of Music in his fourth year at UNCSA. He is the son of Drew and Kelly Dixon of Clemmons.

Sydel Fisher is studying voice in the School of Music in her second year at UNCSA.  She is the daughter of Cassandra Deal of Cary and John Fisher of Longwood, Fla.

Each year, a third of the 1.5 million high school students nationwide who enter the National Merit competition are recognized. About 34,000 students are commended, and about 16,000 are semifinalists, representing the highest scoring entrants in each state. In February, roughly 15,000 of the semifinalists will be announced as finalists and will be eligible for college scholarships.

National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.