Tenor saxophonist Matthew Sieber-Ford, a senior in the Rochester City School District’s School of the Arts who also studies in the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS), has been named this year’s recipient of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman School of Music Scholarship.
Sieber-Ford will be recognized on Monday, June 25, during the annual scholarship performance at 7 p.m. in Kodak Hall. Opening the show is the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, led by Eastman Community Music School Director Howard Potter. They’ll be followed by the Eastman Jazz Ensemble directed by Bill Dobbins with special guest artist Clay Jenkins on trumpet. Sieber-Ford will attend the Eastman School this fall as a freshman, studying classical saxophone with Professor Chien Kwan-Lin and jazz saxophone with Professor Charles Pillow.
The scholarship program is sponsored by Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival producers Marc Iacona and John Nugent and funded by proceeds from the Festival. The scholarships are awarded annually.
“We are proud to have been able to donate more than $100,000 for scholarships since the fund was established,” said Iacona. “Our commitment to helping talented local youth further their education and create opportunities for the next generation of musicians to perform in the festival alongside some of the finest musicians in the world, is an important part of our mission.”
Said Jeff Campbell, chair of the Department of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media, “The scholarship program sponsored by the XRIJF is a great opportunity for local Rochester jazz students to continue their studies at Eastman. We are grateful for the support and spirit of collaboration between John Nugent and Marc Iacona and the jazz department at the Eastman School.”
Sieber-Ford is a recipient of the Eastman Community Music School’s Pre-Collegiate diploma with Honors. He began his instrumental lessons at The Hochstein School of Music on the piano and has pursued world music instruments as varied as the didgeridoo and the Philippine nose flute. In 2004, he started studying trumpet with Herb Smith at ECMS. During his freshman year in high school, Sieber-Ford switched to saxophone, studying with Jose Encarnacion and Doug Stone. He has also participated in the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra under ECMS Director Howard Potter.
“This young man has been a stellar student in the Eastman Community Music School for several years,” said Potter, “Our faculty was not at all surprised to hear that Matthew was accepted to Eastman. Matthew is just the kind of student the Eastman Jazz Department seeks: he is highly talented, serious and hard-working, and well-grounded in the traditions and discipline of the art of jazz.”
In addition to his studies at ECMS, Sieber-Ford was president of the Wind and Jazz Ensembles and a leader in the Jazz Combo at the School of the Arts; participated in the All-County Jazz Orchestra for three years and in the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival for four years; and has sung or played in groups ranging from the Third Church Covenant Singers and Handbell Ringers to The Meigs Street Ramblers and The Buddhahood. He also holds a junior license in hot-air ballooning.
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival-goers will also be able to catch some of the past award recipients during the ESM-XRIJF Jazz Scholarship Alumni Combo performance on the Jazz Street Stage at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 27.
For the entire schedule of concerts see rochesterjazz.com .
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