• Last modified 921 days ago (Nov. 11, 2021)


Tabor freshman wins Lennon scholarship

Staff writer

Winning a John Lennon scholarship funded by Yoko Ono and Gibson Musical Instruments is merely the latest musical accomplishment for 18-year-old Tabor College freshman Mollie Beaver.

Sony ATV Music Publishing, Universal, Arista Records, and Megahouse judged the contest, which annually recognizes three top original songwriters between the ages of 17 and 24 with awards totaling $20,000.

Mollie was one of more than 500 competitors. She tied for third in the 24th annual competition and received $3,500, which she plans to use for college and music opportunities.

“The award was truly a blessing from the Lord and pushes me to want to keep writing,” Molly said.

She started playing instruments at age 8. With encouragement from her parents, she grew up singing and making up tunes.

She was 11 years old when she sat down at a piano and wrote her first song.

“It was a thank you song to my parents and all the wonderful things they have done for me,” she said.

She took lessons in guitar, piano, and voice. While in high school, she spent three summers training with professors at Belmont University in Nashville.

When she was 12, she met several people who mentored her in performing, songwriting, and recording.

She has worked in professional music theatre since age 8 and was honored to sing the national anthem for a Kansas City Royals game at age 13.

At age 11, after winning a contest to sing the national anthem for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, she opened a Jeff Foxworthy show.

Award-winning songwriter Aaron Sidwell wrote a song for her to perform called, “When You Dream Big.” The proceeds go toward water filters for schoolchildren in Nairobi. She wrote a children’s book, published by Mennonite Press, to go along with the song. Her father illustrated it.

She has been performing with Rusty Pierson ever since he played the song on the radio.

Sound engineer Carter Green of GreenJeans Studios took her song “Gamer” to France to do a final mixing with Grammy winning producer Michael Brauer in the same studio that many famous musicians including the Rolling Stones have used.

Molly is from Wichita. Her boyfriend, Ethan Penner, and his family introduced her to Tabor.

“Tabor has been a great decision and blessing in my life,” she said. “I wanted to go away for college but still be able to be at NewSpring Church.”

She serves as a worship leader at NewSpring Church in Wichita.

Molly performed Oct. 2 at Peabody’s Fall Festival.

Three of her songs have brought her recognition as a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. The songs are on her recently completed album, “Roads.” She is studying music and business at Tabor.

Last modified Nov. 11, 2021