2020 Scholarship Award Winners

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JENNIFER ARMOR

vocals/violin

The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame: Elsa Heisel Sule Jazz Studies Scholarship

 

Jennifer Armor, now seventeen, has made music a part of her life at an early age–a jazz vocalist at 8 years old and began studying classical violin at the age of 5. A home-schooled high-school senior, she now studies with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus and is in the Starling

Preparatory Strings Project, an honors program for pre-conservatory string students at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

 

Jennifer is currently principal second with the Cincinnati Symphony’s Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, has played first violin with CSYO for the past three years, and has been a member of youth orchestras in other cities since 2013.

 

In addition to the violin, Jennifer plays viola with several chamber groups weekly, performing at the 2017 opening of Cincinnati’s Music Hall and providing a pre-concert performance for the Danish String Quartet. Her chamber group, the Eclatante Quartet, won the silver prize in this year’s Fischoff National Chamber Competition.

 

Jennifer sings jazz at local venues and is a weekly vocalist/violinist with the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame’s high school jazz program, “Jazz at Dusk” series. She has had solo performances at Greenhills Village on the Green Concerts (2018-19), Foster’s Troubadour Café (2017-19), and Theater Odyssey in Florida (2016).

 

After graduating from high school, Jennifer hopes to attend a music conservatory, focusing on violin performance, string quartet, orchestra, and jazz concentration.

 

Jennifer would like to thank her parents, family, and friends for all of their support during her many performances and recordings. In addition, she expresses her gratitude to The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame for the 2020 Jazz Scholarship and likewise for all the help she received from the “Jazz at Dusk” series.

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SEAN BUTKOVICH

piano

The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame: John Von Ohlen Jazz Studies Scholarship

Sean Butkovich attends Turpin High School and has been playing the piano for most of his life—starting 11 years ago. He is a two-time member of the District 14 Honors Jazz Band and Turpin High School Jazz Band.

 

Butkovich sings in the Honors Level Choir, Chamber Choir, Boys’ A Cappella Group, and is the Section Leader in Singers Choir. He also has a

passion for theatre production where he is a composer and producer. And he enjoys running cross-country, swimming, singing, and playing the guitar.

 

Sean plays jazz piano at local venues and is a member of the Patrick Oakes Quartet and the CCM Prep Jazz Combo; and performs weekly with the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame’s high school jazz program, “Jazz at Dusk” series. Sean will continue to perform and plans to study jazz piano in college.

 

Sean would like to thank his family and friends for all of their encouragement and support during his school years. In addition, he’d like to thank his teachers, as well as, Michelle Burkley from Turpin High School, the UC/CCM Prep Combo and the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame “Jazz at Dusk” series for their guidance.

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EDGAR BYERS

saxophone

The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame: Elsa Heisel Sule Jazz Studies Scholarship

 

Edgar Byars is a saxophonist from Hyde Park, currently a senior at Walnut Hills High School, and is a member of their jazz program. He began playing the saxophone in elementary school, but discovered jazz and improvisation in high school, and constantly strives

to become a better musician. He has spent his high school career studying privately with educator and saxophonist Jennifer Grantham.

 

Byars is an active member of the Walnut jazz program, performing private venues on behalf of the school for over 3 years. He has participated in the OMEA District 14 Honor Jazz Ensemble, and was a member of the OMEA 2020 All-State Jazz Ensemble. He has spent the majority of his musical career performing jazz across the greater Cincinnati area.

 

He currently is a member of the Greater Cincinnati Youth Jazz Collaborative, directed by Isidore Rudnick, and plays with the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame’s “Jazz at Dusk” Combo under the leadership of the Jazz Education Programs Director, Sue Brown. In addition he has participated in the CCM Jazz Summer Camp, and performed at the 2019 CPS International Jazz Festival. After graduation, Byars is looking to continue his saxophone studies, at either the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, or at The Ohio State University.

 

Edgar is honored to receive the 2020 Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame Scholarship, and is grateful for all of the support received from the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame & “Jazz at Dusk” series. Last but not least, he thanks his family and teachers for their continued encouragement and support in his musical endeavors.

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JACK EARLY

bass

The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame: Elsa Heisel Sule Jazz Studies Scholarship

 

Jack Early is a senior at Walnut Hills High School. He has been part of Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame’s high school education program, “Jazz at Dusk” series, the Greater Cincinnati Youth Jazz Collaborative, the Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra, the CCM-prep Combo, the Walnut Hills

Jazz Ensemble, the Walnut Hills Chamber Orchestra, the Walnut Hills Marching Band, and other local youth groups.

 

Jack started his career in jazz as a tuba player in a combo class. When the need for a bass player arose, he volunteered, and within two years the bass became his mainstay! In the meantime, Jack founded a “brotherhood” of tuba players in order to advance the instrument’s presence in the school.

 

Early is grateful for all of the encouragement and guidance from Mr. Andrew Peoples, Dr. Isidore Rudnick, Jennifer Grantham and Sue Brown – as well as from his amazing private lessons teachers, Aaron Jacobs and Maurice Todd; his super supportive parents, Susan and Tim Early, and all of the other directors and musicians that have helped him along the way.

 

Next year Early plans to attend a jazz studies program, and will most likely stay in Cincinnati. Jack says, “Music has been his passion since before he can remember, and he looks to continue this journey for the rest of his life.”