Jillian Billester 2017 Scholarship Winners


Kondratieb and Torres Receive Art Scholarships

William McAuley, last  year's scholarship winner (on right) presents this year's award to Gleb Kondratieb.


On October 20th the Soper Reese Theatre held its third annual Jillian Billester Memorial Scholarship Benefit event where two promising Lake County students were awarded $1,000 scholarships.  This year’s winners are Gleb Kondratieb and Bianca Torres. Presenting the scholarships was one of last year’s recipients, William McAuley, along with Barbara Clark of the Lake County Theatre Company.

Representatives of four arts organizations, the Lake County Theatre Company, the Soper Reese Theatre, the Lake County Arts Council and the Lake County Symphony Assn., as well as community representative Wilda Shock, make up the scholarship committee that nominates and selects the recipients. Recipients are chosen based on their active involvement in the community at large and the arts.

Gleb Kondratieb is now attending Woodland Community College-Clearlake Campus where he hopes to graduate and then transfer to a four year performing arts school. He recently graduated as valedictorian from the Konocti Education Center with a 3.97 grade point average.  He was a sound technician for performances of “13 Clocks” and “Annie.”  Gleb has also shadowed at a local hospital and most recently is learning stage lighting at the Soper Reese Theatre.

Bianca Torres recently graduated from Kelseyville High School with a gpa of 3.88 and was senior class secretary. She is now attending AMDA Performing Arts Conservatory in Los Angeles.  Bianca performed in “13 Clocks,” “Arsenic & Old Lace,” and in one-acts with Tim Fischer at Konocti Education Center. She plays piano, drums, and vibes, has been Student of the Month multiple times, is a Little League volunteer and a church volunteer.

The October 20 event helped raise funds for next year’s scholarships. Two bands, The Fargo Brothers and the Psychedellos, donated their time and talents to entertain the crowd.  The scholarship is named in honor of the late Jillian Billester, one time Executive Director of the Lake County Arts Council and the visionary behind the transformation of a shuttered 1947 movie theatre into what is today the Soper Reese Theatre, a renovated, vibrant performing arts center for the Lake County community. 

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Jillian Billester Memorial Scholarship can send donations to: Soper Reese Theatre, Attn: Scholarship, P.O. Box 756, Lakeport, CA 95453.

Barbara Clark, mistress of ceremony, (left) surprises Bianca Torres with the news of her award through a special cell phone arrangement which enabled the audience to see Bianca in Los Angeles and for her to see them.







Posted 10/25/2017 in Sponsoring Youth

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