For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- For the past several weeks, the Black Box Theatre in Fort Pierce has been filled with the sounds of music as youth from throughout the Treasure Coast compete for the opportunity to claim a college scholarship from the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society.
On May 28, from 7 to 10 p.m., eight talented musicians, who also happen to be graduating seniors from throughout the Treasure Coast, will be honored with coveted $1,000 scholarships in memory of musicians Tom Omans, Louis Sanzaro and Honesto Villasurda, who donated their time and talent to fulfilling the mission of the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society.
Fourteen students from St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties have been bringing their talent and their instruments to Tuesday evening Jazz Jams and the Sunrise Black Box Theatre, hoping to impress the judges with their talent, pluck, musicianship, ability to improvise and over-all impression.
Students recommended by local band directors and area high schools submitted an essay outlining their qualifications and goals for the future with regard to their music, and each student was welcomed on the stage to perform two songs with the Jazz Society's professional Jazz Ensemble.
Led by noted area educator, Al Hager, a panel of Jazz Society professional musicians and educators evaluated the applicants.
On May 28, the six students who have been selected to receive scholarships will have another chance to perform with the professionals, among whom they hope to number, and will receive a trophy and honorary membership in the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society, which has been providing scholarships to local students for the past 17 years.
Jazz Society President Don Bestor Jr. and other members of the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society work tirelessly throughout the year in an effort to raise money to fund scholarships for talented student musicians and raise the level of cultural influence in the Treasure Coast area.
Those who would like to attend the evening of music, dancing, and celebrating the newest generation of jazz and blues enthusiasts, must arrive early because seating at the Black Box Theatre is limited. The cost for the evening is $5. The Sunrise Theatre's cash bar will be available for refreshments.
For more information, call (772) 460-JAZZ (5299) or visit www.jazzsociety.org.