ISSUED: 11 January 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University will once again offer a special concert, “A Musical Showcase for Scholarships,” on Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center Theater. The concert will feature The White House Band, a nine-member jazz ensemble that includes two vocalists, the Shepherd Saxophone Quartet, and Shepherd music students and alumni.
Money raised from the concert will be used to provide scholarships to Shepherd music students. Eleven students are enrolled this year thanks in part to scholarships they were awarded that range between $2,000-$8,000. Sophie Palmer, Shepherdstown, and Caroline Hayden, Charles Town, both say receiving the scholarships makes it possible for them to attend college.
“I chose Shepherd because I knew of its wonderful music program, and it’s extremely convenient in terms of location and cost,” said Palmer, who hopes to become a high school choral teacher and private piano teacher. “This music scholarship has been very beneficial, as it, along with other scholarships, enabled me to go to college for free. It also helped me to see that my hard work really does pay off. I think it’s extremely important for the community to support this scholarship program because it encouraged me in a multitude of ways, especially in my talent and purpose of being here.”
Hayden, who said she comes from a musical family, has dreams of becoming a high school band director.
“I think it’s important for the community to support scholarship programs like this because it gives students like me, who probably wouldn’t even be able to go to college if it weren’t for scholarships, the chance to attend,” Hayden said. “Being the recipient of a scholarship probably was the biggest excitement of my time in trying to get into school. It meant that my parents didn’t have to pay a whole lot of money and I wouldn’t have to take out loans. It was one of the biggest reliefs of my life.”
Dr. Marcia Brand, chair of Shepherd’s Board of Governors, and Alan Gibson, adjunct faculty in the Department of English and Modern Languages, co-chair the planning committee. Brand said by having an excellent music department, Shepherd contributes a great deal to the quality of life in the community.
“If you live in this town and are a part of this community, you go to the Frank Center or other places on campus to hear the music,” Brand said. “A lot of folks have been participants and now want to be supporters of the music department.”
Gibson, who has been involved for many years with raising scholarship money for music students, said even though some of the scholarships aren’t large, they mean a lot to the recipients.
“They have to have basic equipment, which many of them don’t have,” Gibson said. “A thousand dollars for one kid made it possible for him to completely renovate his trumpet—get all the dents out and make it look great. He got this cool case and now he looks like a musician. It makes him confident and competitive.”
The headliner for this year’s concert, The White House Band, is made up of musicians who at some point in their careers have played at The White House in a Washington-based military band. One of its members is Dr. Mark Andrew Cook, professor of music and Shepherd’s director of jazz studies.
Dr. Rob Tudor, chair of the Department of Music, said this band contains some of the best jazz musicians in the region, including trumpeter and band leader Dave Detwiler, Chris Vadala on saxophone, Rhoades Whitehill on trombone, Ronnie Shaw on drums, Glen Dewey on bass, Ken Hall on guitar, and Cook on keyboard. This particular concert will also feature jazz vocalists Dr. Darden Purcell and Glenn Scimonelli.
“If you like the sound of a fine jazz band and jazz songs, you’re going to love this concert,” Tudor said.
“We’re very excited about this second event,” Tudor added. “It’s a good cause to support our students and to invest in allowing them to have an affordable, transformative educational experience at Shepherd. Coming to this concert with this variety of artists of such a high caliber—our best students, successful alumni, and a knockout jazz lineup—will prove to be a special evening!”
This year’s fundraising goal is $25,000. Sponsorship opportunities beginning at the $500 level are available and will include a pre-concert cocktail reception with the host committee and recognition through various music department publications. Individual tickets are $100 and include a post-concert dessert reception with the artists.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.shepherd.edu/musicshowcase/. For sponsorship information, contact Stacy McFarland, Shepherd University Foundation director of annual giving, at 304-876-5526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to the interview HERE.
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