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Fish’s Jazz Scholarship

In 1991, vocalist Ronnie Wells (pictured) formed the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship (FMJS) in memory of jazz radio programmer Elmore “Fish” Middleton. The FMJS’s fund-raising event, the East Coast Jazz Festival, enters its 12th year in 2003, and the details of the fest’s popular scholarship competition are now available.

“The Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund, Inc. (FMJS), a 501(c)(3) organization, is now accepting applications for scholarships for the year 2003. FMJS’s primary focus is to assist emerging jazz musicians (vocalists and instrumentalists) in their development by granting scholarships for performance and educational purposes,” says the application guidelines, which can be viewed in full, along with printable applications, here:

The 2003 FMJS Scholarships are in the following amounts:

First Place: $3,000

Second Place: $2,000

Third Place: $1,500

The guidelines also state, “Scholarship monies are paid directly to the source(s) identified by the recipients. Categories include Tuition Assistance, Study With A Jazz Master, and Music Education Programs. The first place winner will be engaged to perform at the “New Faces Jazz Series” presented by the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center in Laurel, MD. All finalists will be engaged to perform at the 11th Annual East Coast Jazz Festival, with all expenses paid. You are eligible to apply for the FMJS as an emerging jazz artist if, on the date of your submission of materials, you are a vocalist or instrumentalist who is pursuing a career in jazz; if you have not been a member of a group that has recorded commercially-released recordings; and/or if you have never signed contracts with any booking agent or manager. There are no age limitations. Former FMJS scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply one year after the award of their previous scholarship, if they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.”

The East Coast Jazz Festival will be held in the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville, Md., February 12 – 16, 2003. Log on to for the complete festival listings.

Originally Published