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Vernon Isaac Memorial Scholarship

Memorial Celebration Jan.22,2000


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The 'Friends of The Vernon Isaac Society' and Mike's Music are pleased to announce an award in the name of Vernon Isaac.  This award will be presented to a saxophone student from the Ottawa area that has elected to pursue musical studies with a concentration on saxophone.


February 6, 2000.


Mike's Music and the Friends of Vernon Isaac Society are pleased to present an award to the student who has demonstrated exemplary skills and a desire to pursue music with a concentration on saxophone.

In January, 2000, Mike's Music and the Friends of Vernon Isaac Society announced the founding of a memorial scholarship dedicated to Vernon Clarence Isaac, a great jazz saxophonist. Vernon performed with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Parker. His big band was a perennial crowd pleaser at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. Vernon was a founding member and inspirational leader of Jazz Ottawa. In the early 1980s, the Vernon Isaac Big Band was established by Vernon and provided many musicians in this community with opportunities that were unique. Vernon died peacefully on December 16th, 1999.

The motivation for this scholarship is to perpetuate and preserve Vernon's memory by presenting an annual award to a worthy jazz musician, as selected by the judges of the Capital Region Music Festival.   The candidate must perform at least one improvised solo at the Capital Region Music Festival and must be able to demonstrate to his/her music teacher a thorough knowledge of all major and minor (harmonic, melodic, and natural) scales. The recipient must be intending to continue his/her musical studies at any accredited Canadian university or college with a concentration on saxophone. The scholarship will be forwarded to the educational institution chosen, on behalf of the recipient. The recipient will also be asked to perform with the Vernon Isaac Big Band prior to the beginning of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. This public performance will be our opportunity to usher in the new jazz saxophone player to our local musical community. This scholarship is open to all saxophone players participating in the Capital Region Music Festival jazz division. The student must be currently enrolled in high school, grade 12 or OAC, and/or in their final year of high school.

The scholarship will be funded by Mike's Music, the Friends of Vernon Isaac Society, and donations collected by volunteers during appropriate events. Original funding proceeds came from the Vernon Isaac Memorial Celebration held on January 22nd, 2000, a donation from Mike's Music, and the Friends of Vernon Isaac Society. At the Memorial Celebration, donations of $15.00 or more were collected for a copy of Vernon's CD recorded in 1984. All are encouraged to continue to donate and support this worthy scholarship. Continued support will help preserve the memory of Vernon Isaac, this scholarship, and support our musical community. For details on how to donate, please call Mike's Music or visit Vernon's web site at http://www.vernonisaac.org.