Future Generation Jazz Scholarships for 2020

On May 28, 2020, The Blue Jay Jazz Foundation announced four Future Generation Jazz Scholarship recipients for the year.

The four graduating seniors from Rim of the World High School were chosen, with input from Rim High Music Director Kari Bush, for exemplary dedication to their musical instruments and commitment to the various performance ensembles in which they participated during their years in high school. In addition, they plan to keep music in their lives, whether through continued study, membership in bands during college, or simply supporting other artists and performance venues.

The 2020 Future Generation Jazz Scholarship recipients are Logan Arrowood, Walker DeVries, Karen Salazar and Margie Whitten. Each will receive a $1000 check from the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Education Fund, and be invited to participate onstage at the 2020 Blue Jay Jazz Festival, if one can be held.

“Taking over as Music Director was a challenge, but these music students, most especially the seniors, made it a rewarding one,” said Bush. “They have shown me extraordinary perseverance, leadership, and determination for their goals. And if what I have seen in this last year is any indication, I think they will go on to be great leaders.”

A time of increased need

This year’s awards come at a time of increased financial need for the students as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and are possible thanks to growth in major donations to the Foundation. After graduating without ceremony, they head for college following a summer with scant opportunities to earn the money they will need for tuition, housing and books.

“In this time of uncertainty, thanks to our loyal funding partners, fans and supporters we are redoubling our education outreach efforts through our Future Generation Jazz awards program,” said BJJF President Chris Levister. “When the next crisis inevitably strikes, the students we help today will be the ones answer the call to help tomorrow. This pandemic has thrust our nation and community into a scary, confusing, and unprecedented situation. Our youth need our help now more than ever.”

Major donors to the 2020 Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Education Fund are The Bill & Dinah Ruch Family Foundation and Midge and Ed Reisman.

The 2020 Future Generation Jazz Scholarship Recipients

All four recipients have participated in multiple ensembles while at Rim High School, and each now plans to attend college in the fall.

From the time he was 5 years old, Logan Arrowood studied piano. Nine years ago he took up the trumpet and has been playing it in Rim High’s Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble. His favorite musical experience was “marching with the band at Disneyland in 2016 and 2017.”

His non-musical interests have been martial arts, leadership positions, and community service. He is a member of National Honor Society, earning the Certificate of Merit in 2014. Since 2016, he has also been a Church Worship Leader. He plans to attend Texas A&M University, majoring in Chemistry and hopefully joining the Texas A&M Marching Band.

Walker DeVries also plays trumpet in addition to euphonium, trombone, and tuba/sousaphone. He began studying music in 2011 and was part of the Rim High Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Marching Band. Outside of school he and three fellow students formed Sirens in the Fog. He cites his solo during their performance at the Tudor House as “an amazing musical highlight.” His other interests include mountain biking and baseball.

“I want to be a professional microbiologist but with a little music on the side,” he said. To accomplish that he plans to attend the University of Oregon and major in Biology and minor in Music while “continuing to be in a band and do gigs and make good music!”

Since she was in first grade, Karen Salazar has been playing the alto saxophone. She has also studied guitar and piano. During high school she was part of the Rim High Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Pit Orchestra. Other high school pursuits have been playing varsity tennis and participating in T.I.P Club, Science Club, AVID Club and National Honor Society.

“I loved attending the Pomona Christmas parade because of all the experienced bands we got to compete with under the beautifully decorated streets,” she said of her favorite musical memories. “I also loved the Disney invitational festival with the Wind Ensemble, and being in the Disney Parade with the Marching Band. These were great experiences, enjoying a day with friends performing at the happiest place on earth!”

She is planning to go to Cypress College to pursue a career in the medical field as a neurosurgeon or dermatologist, and possibly joining the school’s marching band, an ensemble group, or “a club or group that plays for fun,” she said.

Margie Whitten has played both tenor and alto saxophone since sixth grade, after first studying violin in the fourth grade. At Rim she performed in Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Marching Band and has special memories of the Redlands Summer Music Academy in 2016. She also played high school tennis, was treasurer of National Honor Society, and a member of the Science Club and Fire Explorers.
“My favorite experiences include performing at Disneyland with the Jazz and Marching Bands, marching in the Pomona Christmas Night Parade, and placing at Wind Ensemble festivals,” she said. “I also loved attending the SDSU Band Day and meeting all the different bands, and obtaining the Soloist Award at the Upland Jazz Festival.”

She plans to attend California State University Fullerton to study Biochemistry. “I’ll be taking a music course to fulfill my art credits at CSUF, and trying out for both the Varsity Band and Jazz Ensemble,” she said. “After obtaining my bachelor’s, I hope to go to medical school and pursue my dream of becoming an anesthesiologist or a researcher in biochemistry.”

Photos (left to right): Logan Arrowood, Walker DeVries, Karen Salazar, and Margie Whitten