Current and new jazz festival scholarship recipients at Eastman posed with festival producers and Eastman School faculty following the annual scholarship concert; from left, Mark Iacona, Chris Ziemba, Nick Finzer, Tim Craig, Harold Danko, Bob Sneider, Gabe Condon, Matthew Krol, Howard Potter, Jeffrey Krol, and John Nugent. (Photo by Don Ver Ploeg, provided by Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.)
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Gabe Condon of Penfield and brothers Jeffrey Krol and Matthew Krol of Painted Post will join Eastman School of Music’s incoming freshman class in the fall as this year’s recipients of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF)/Eastman School of Music scholarship. The awards are sponsored by XRIJF producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona and funded by proceeds from the Festival.
The scholarships support continued jazz education at the Eastman School of Music for area high school students who have been part of the Eastman Community Music School and the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra. The scholarship was launched in 2002 and has been given annually as part of the Festival’s mission to invest in the next generation of musicians. To date, 23 students have been awarded scholarships.
“Our scholarship support is actually part of our business plan for each and every festival and is one way in which we are giving back and reinvesting in our community,” said Iacona, executive director/producer of RIJF LLC and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. “There are so many talented young musicians who can benefit from the gift that we provide to Eastman School each year. It is very gratifying to John and me to see these students thrive and succeed and realize their dreams.”
Condon has been playing the guitar since the age of 4. In 2007, Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), selected him as one of the area’s most talented young musicians. Condon has performed on stage with the RPO and such jazz artists as violinist Regina Carter and vibraphonist Stefon Harris. His recordings with his rock band Mint Jam received DownBeat magazine’s “Outstanding Performance” for pop/rock/blues in 2008. As a composer and arranger, Condon has won the Charlie Cote Composition Award at Penfield High School. His piece, Second Place arranged for string quartet, will debut in the Rochester Chamber Music Society’s 2009-2010 season. He has studied with Bob Sneider.
Jeffrey and Matthew Krol share musical and extracurricular interests. Each studied piano for 10 years and saxophone for four years; Matthew also took up the bass guitar in seventh grade and Jeffrey went on to study drums. Since 2007, they have made the weekly three-and-a-half hour round trip from Painted Post to Rochester for Eastman Community Music School jazz theory classes, lessons, and rehearsals. Jeffrey has studied drums with Bobby Williams, Chris Teal, and Rich Thompson. Matthew has studied double bass with Jeff Campbell and Miles Brown. They performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra and Corning Painted Post High School’s jazz, marching, and concert bands. The brothers also sing in the All Saints Parish Choir in Corning and play lacrosse.
“The Eastman Community Music School is so fortunate to attract students of this caliber. Anyone listening to them play can instantly hear that these are truly exceptional musicians,” said Howard Potter, associate dean for community and continuing education at Eastman and director of the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra. “What I have had the good fortune to learn as one of their teachers this year is that they are also gentlemen and scholars. Eastman is indeed fortunate to have these students as part of the class of 2013!”
The three students performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra and were honored at the annual scholarship concert in the Eastman Theatre on June 15 during the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. This year’s performance and scholarship were dedicated in memory of saxophonist and Eastman alumnus Gerry Niewood.
Harold Danko, chair of the jazz studies and contemporary media department at Eastman School, noted that the scholarship program has reached a milestone, with recipients Christopher Ziemba ’08 and Christopher Potter ’09 continuing their studies in the master’s degree jazz studies program. “They were both members of the Eastman Community Music School Jazz Orchestra in their high school years,” he said. “We really have a great tradition going.”
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