Glenn Miller Scholarship
American musician Glenn Miller changed the sound of popular music. Today he is still responsible for making positive changes in the world by offering the Glenn Miller scholarship.
Each year Clarinda Iowa holds the Glenn Miller Festival. Besides celebrating his music, the Glenn Miller Scholarship Competition also takes place. During this competition, three instrumentalists and three vocalists are chosen to receive the award. The Glenn Miller Vocal scholarship is given to three individuals in the amounts ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The same is done for instrumentalists. The finalists are chosen at this event at which they compete. On the final day of the festival, the winners will perform. This scholarship can be used by the individual for any expense that is related to their education. The Glenn Miller scholarship was originally created to honor Glenn Miller who is considered one of the greatest musicians ever.
The Glenn Miller scholarship is made available for high school students in the U.S. who are current freshmen or seniors who plan on making their careers as musicians or teaching music. Applications can be viewed and downloaded on the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society website. Be sure to check the deadlines. The requirement is to have the student send a clear sounding CD or audio cassette into the Glenn Miller scholarship committee. It should contain an instrumental or vocal performance as well as a statement made by the student as to what their career goals are.
Glenn Miller was a unique arranger, composer, jazz musician and bandleader during the swing music era. From 1939 to 1942 he was one of the best-selling musical artists. In 1938 Miller formed the original Glenn Miller Orchestra. The orchestra had a sound all of their own which was coordinated around a tenor saxophone and a clarinet that played a melody, backed up by harmonic saxophones. In 1936 Miller had formed his first band but he disbanded it as he felt their sound was not as unique as he felt it should. His new band however quickly took off in 1939 had hits with “In the Mood,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” and the hauntingly lovely “Moonlight Serenade.”
During World War II Miller accepted the position offered to him by the Special Services as the Commander of the Bands and Broadcasting. During this time a plane that Miller was a passenger on had become lost at sea as it was leaving from England to France. This was in December 1944 and Glenn Miller’s body was never found. After Miller’s presumed death, the band was re-organized under the guidance of Tex Beneke who was a lead saxophonist and a good friend of Miller. After a few years Beneke left the orchestra and was replaced with drummer Ray McKinley in 1956 (McKinley was the primary drummer in Glenn Miller’s Air Force band). This new Glenn Miller Orchestra achieved success as they played tribute to the great Miller’s music. Today the orchestra is still touring and introducing new generations to Miller’s music. For more information please visit the official website.
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