At the Rotary Club's Scholarshiip Awards Ceremony, Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Board Members Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Chris Levister (left),
and Rotary's Jack Winston (right), congratulate winners Joshua Mainez, Madeline Zweber, and Gavin Harris (center)


Awarding excellence

Among the education programs Blue Jay Jazz Foundation administers each year are the annual jazz education scholarships for graduating high school students in the San Bernardino Mountain communities. Launched in 2008, immediately after the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation was established as a non-profit educational institution, these scholarships – along with grants and music internships – have helped with inspire community young people through their high school years and make the jump to enroll in colleges and universities around the country.

Since 2008, Blue Jay Jazz has provided tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships so support and encourage committed student musicians.

Beginning in 2016, the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club began partnering in the scholarship program, contributing $500 annually to inspiring aspiring ‘young jazz lions’ develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self image, and a respect for their and others' cultural heritage.

In recent years, school music programs have been gutted by budget cuts. The result? Many of our schools can’t provide instruments to their music students. A study at the University of Kansas revealed that students with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests. Our students deserve to expand their potential for creativity, discipline, and academic achievement.

In spite of the challenges, our music programs are finding ways to thrive. Interest is at an all-time high, but acquiring instruments and sheet music for all the interested students has become very difficult.


First dollar amount was given to each student listed that year; beginning in 2016, the second dollar amount of $500 was given to each student listed from Lake Arrowhead Rotary
2008 – Olivia Clark, $500
2009 – Andrew Jones, Justin Jones, Erik Davies, Ryan Jones, $500
2010 – Chasing Kings (Matt Schwartz, Drew Beck, Nick Sandler and Mike Goldman), $700
2011 – Josh Phillips, David Velasco, $750
2012 – Jeannine Robertson, Kelly Gates, $750
2013 – Karen Bogart, $750
2014 – Something Jazzy Rim High Jazz Band (Breanna Baltaxe Admony, Jeff Gumpertz), $750
2015 – Nick Maltas, Blaze Peterson, Cameron Harris, Evan Kraskin, Alexander Richardson, Sierra Dunn, $1,000
2016 – Fernando Helguera, Tyler Halcomb, $1,000; $500
2017 – Rachel Stallings, Rei Thielbar, $1,000; $500
2018 – Gavin Harris, Joshua, Maninez, Madeline Zweber, $1,000; $500
2019 – Brooke Erber, Uriel Ponce, Ryan Whitty, $1,500; $500