Trumpet section leader Gage Fringer receives Masini marching band scholarship

Bob and Mickie Masini present Gage Fringer with the Masini scholarship on the practice field

The Department of Music’s prestigious Toni Christine Masini Memorial Music Scholarship was awarded this year to Gage Fringer, a senior majoring in computer science and minoring in music performance. The Masini scholarship—the largest music scholarship offered at NC State—is awarded each year to one student who exemplifies academic and musical excellence, as well as leadership in the marching band. 

Gage Fringer, a senior majoring in computer science and minoring in music performance, is this year’s recipient of the Toni Christine Masini Memorial Music Scholarship.
Photos by Erin Zanders.

The scholarship is named in memory of Toni Masini who was first chair flute and piccolo in the Wind Ensemble during her time at NC State in the early 90s, and was actively involved in the marching band. 

“I am incredibly humbled to have been given the honor of receiving the Masini scholarship because of how prestigious a scholarship it is,” said Fringer. “Dr. Garcia had commented on the level of passion that I brought to the marching band the last year we had a full season, and I believe that receiving this scholarship is a testament to that commitment I have to give 110% for the band, both on and off the field.

“I give all of my thanks to the Masini family and hope that in representing the marching band in this way that I am able to carry on the legacy of this scholarship.”

Fringer is similarly dedicated to his music studies at NC State and has actively sought opportunities to contribute to his ensembles and to the music department as a whole. He is a trumpet section leader in the marching band and also plays trumpet in the Varsity Pep Band and the Jazz Lab Band. He is also the Music Director for the on-campus Raleigh Wesley Foundation.

“I’ve personally been involved with music for most of my life. My mom loves to say that I started with singing around age three,” said Fringer. “The opportunities available to me both on and off-campus…all serve as ways for me to continue to pursue my love for the craft. Music, in general, has always been something that puts me in a good mood regardless of how a day is going, and I think that this ability of music to serve as a way for me to switch off my engineering brain and connect with others is the reason why it is so easy for me to want to continue music to the degree that I do. Over the years, the roles of both marching band and music in general in my life have evolved to become an integral part of who I am, and I couldn’t imagine a future where I don’t continue with music in some fashion.” 

Director of Bands Paul Garcia, Mickie Masini, Gage Fringer, Bob Masini and Department Head Dan Monek pose for a photo following the scholarship presentation at marching band practice on Aug. 16, 2021.

Fringer’s academic achievements include being on the Dean’s List for the past six semesters. He plans to enroll in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program for computer science this year, and ultimately to pursue his doctorate in computer science to become a professor. He is a member of the HackPack and a Teaching Assistant for software development in the Department of Computer Science. 

Toni Christine Masini’s parents, Bob and Mickie, and other members of the Masini family will formally present the scholarship award to Fringer during halftime of the Louisiana Tech football game on Oct. 2. 

“Of all of the experiences that I’ve had with the NC State music department, I don’t think that any stands out as much as the ‘run on’ for the first home football game; the mix of adrenaline and having thousands of fans cheering us on is a feeling that I will never forget, and is one that I hope to feel again with the Power Sound of the South returning to the field this fall,” said Fringer.

The Department of Music awards a variety of scholarships for its programs, including renewable performance scholarships. For more information on music scholarships at NC State visit https://music.arts.ncsu.edu/scholarships/.