On behalf of the musicians of Independence Jazz Reunion, director and bandleader Dr. Rick Lundquist is pleased to announce that Danielle Dean from Dunkirk High School and Jasmine Mills from Fredonia High School are recipients of the 14th annual Independence Jazz Reunion summer music camp scholarships.
Reunited after 40 years, this local six-piece ensemble of notable musicians delights audiences with a complete spectrum of the best in jazz entertainment. The members place great value on music education and believe the scholarship fund is one way to help students who have promising talent.
These scholarships help support two local high school students' attendance at a summer music camp of their choice. In the band's home base of Dunkirk/Fredonia, scholarships are awarded annually, and one scholarship is also awarded to a deserving high school student in each town or city where the band performs.
Guidelines are provided to high school music department chairs to assist with selection of award recipients. Selection criteria include the following: student must have completed freshman, sophomore or junior year; must be academically sound; and must have a high level of participation in music programs and activities, both in and out of school.
Danielle Dean, granddaughter of Joan Grupa and daughter of the late Michelle Dean, has just entered her senior year at Dunkirk High School. She is a saxophonist with the high school's jazz ensemble, jazz combo, marching band, and concert band. Dean also plays mellophone and marches with the Western New York Alumni Drum Corps. She began playing saxophone in the 8th grade and is equally proficient in alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. This year she was selected by audition as first chair tenor sax for the 2012 Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association's all-county senior high band. Future plans include a degree in music with a concentration in either music business or music therapy. With this scholarship, she attended SUNY Fredonia's Summer Music Camp in June.
Jasmine Mills, daughter of Charles and Mary Mills, has just entered her sophomore year at Fredonia High School. As a member of the high school string orchestra, she was principal second violin. In school she studies violin with Colleen Vanderzyden and privately with Jennifer Jansen. She performed in the pit orchestra for Godspell and was the fiddler in the production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Mills participates in the advanced honors music program and attended the Chautauqua County and NYSSMA solo festivals, receiving a 98 percent on the most difficult level 6. Last November she was selected to participate in the NYSSMA area all-state orchestra. She has attended Chautauqua Institution's high school summer music orchestra program and the string workshop at SUNY Fredonia. When not involved with the violin, Mills can be found studying and teaching karate. She earned a junior black belt from Fredonia's Norman Yonkers Karate Connection MMA Academy.
The Independence Jazz Reunion summer music camp scholarship endowment fund is held with Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, and profits from the sale of the band's recordings are donated to the fund, as well as private contributions from interested individuals. For more information about Independence Jazz Reunion, visit www.ijr.net.