The Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund just announced $500 scholarships to four BC-based high school instrumentalists: Allison Lee, David Wu, Erin Kim, and Maxwell Holmes. I reached out to the four of them to offer my congrats and also ask if they wanted to share a few words. You can tell that these are written responses, unlike all the other interviews I do from speech, but that's how we did it this time:
Allison Lee: Eric Hamber, bass
"I’m thrilled to have been able to participate in the event and honoured to be chosen as one of the award winners. I felt very inspired the whole day as I was able to listen to so many performances of great music by students in high school and the post secondary division and hear the feedback given so kindly by the adjudicators. One piece of advice I am taking away to continue to work on is to be mindful of the way I share the creative space with other musicians I’m playing with, and not try to force musical interactions but let them come naturally."
Allison has a podcast, of course.
David Wu: Southridge, guitar
"While this scholarship had financial incentives, the greater effect was bringing together some of the most talented and hard working young musicians from the area. This scholarship process introduced me to mentors and like-minded peers I now frequently play with. Overall, while the application process could be more streamlined, I am extremely honoured and grateful to have taken part in this process, and the final money prize is only a fraction of the positive impact this scholarship has to offer."
David has a public Instagram.
Erin Kim: Semiahmoo, bass
"I played two tunes on acoustic bass: My Funny Valentine and Tangerine. It has been a pleasure to participate in this scholarship event. I enjoyed listening to others and feel very grateful to receive these award along with 3 other amazing musicians."
Erin has played with some Semi-mates in a combo called Streetlights.
Maxwell Holmes: Langley Fine Arts, piano
"I’m a believer in the concept of having firm roots in your artistry and your character. Those firm roots appear in the form of those who inspired me, musicians like Kenny Kirkland and Cedar Walton and Brad Mehldau. And those firm roots are also present in the support I’ve been privileged to receive from my friends, my fellow musicians, my partner, and my beautiful family."
Max has a YouTube channel.
Allison and Max are playing a show at Aperture Coffee Bar Main Street on Jan. 26 with two other students.
The scholarship fund is annual and awards both secondary school – at a higher dollar amount – and high school students. Personally, I never applied for it, and I'm too old to do it now. Only instrumentalists may apply.
Re-printing this because many of these shows are still important to jump on...