For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- Nine talented musicians from around the Treasure Coast were recognized for their talent, perseverance and musicianship as they were honored with coveted $1,000 scholarships generously donated by members of the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society.
Lauren Douglas, Trevor Farriss, Matthew Fulcher, David Gonzalez, Padraic King, Jeffrey Mier, Josiah Nalzaro, Cristina Olarte and Taylor Robin each received $1,000 scholarships to help defray the cost of their college educations. All nine of the students will be studying in Florida, many locally at Indian River State College.
Fourteen students from St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties have been bringing their talents and instruments to Tuesday evening Jazz Jams and the Sunrise Black Box Theatre, hoping to impress the judges with their talent, pluck, musicianship and ability to improvise.
Prior to the public auditions, 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 area educator, Al Hager, a panel of Jazz Society professional musicians and educators evaluated the applicants.
In addition to the scholarship, each student musician received 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 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.
Usually, six scholarships are given out, but because of several donations from members of the community, three additional scholarships were passed out this year.
In addition to master classes, local performances, and the coordination of the weekly Jazz Market on Saturday mornings by the fountains in downtown Fort Pierce, the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society hosts weekly Jazz Jams at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre and evenings of Jazz in the Gardens on alternating Wednesdays at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden.
For more information about the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society or how to become a member and attend upcoming events, call (772) 460-JAZZ (5299) or visit www.jazzsociety.org.