FBISF Foundation awards music related scholarships to four seniors
Nov. 3-13 fest will be dedicated to memory of founder Joe Gilchrist
By Andy Haynes
One aspect of the mission statement of the Frank Brown International Foundation for Music is “to reach into schools to enrich lives and encourage creativity through music.” This goal is achieved by various means.
Over the past several years $30,000.00 has been presented to college bound Baldwin County and Escambia County high school seniors. With the support of local school systems, the Foundation solicits essays from students asking them to describe their interest in music, the role it plays in their lives and the way they see it shaping their future. These essays are reviewed by a committee consisting of songwriters, music educators and Foundation Board members. Having received a number of compelling essays and after careful deliberation, the committee recently presented each of the following deserving students from the graduating class of 2022 with $1,500.00 scholarships to further their educational goals:
• Chloe Rabin of West Florida High who will be attending the University of West Florida majoring in Music Education.
• Trevon Andrews of Pine Forest High who will be attending Florida A&M University also majoring in Music Education.
• Taylor Williams of Bayside Academy who will be attending Loyola University pursuing a degree in their Music Industry Studies program.
• Nathan Higginson of Gulf Shores High who will be a Music Major at the University of Mobile.
The Foundation is also involved with the Larry Butler Memorial Music Fund at the University of West Florida. Larry Butler was a multi-Grammy Award winning music producer and songwriter and a Pensacola native. Established in 2015, the fund has realized over $150,000.00 in donations in large part due to the efforts of the Frank Brown Foundation for Music. These monies have supported UWF music department students travel to competitions and performances all over the world in addition to seeing improvements to campus classrooms and studios, as well as providing music lessons to underprivileged kids.
In addition to the Scholarship Program and UWF Memorial Fund, the Foundation offers an “In Schools Outreach Program” at no cost to schools. These presentations bring a professional songwriter in to speak to students of varying ages, combining performance as well as an interactive question and answer segment during which the students can ask about the process of songwriting. Presentations include general instruction on the subject, and the instructor addresses the various aspects of songwriting as a career. Per the program director, Karen E. Reynolds: “Our goal is for the student’s excitement in songwriting and writing in general to carry beyond the presentation.” Statistics show that programs such as this can benefit the students in a variety of ways, including social skills, self-confidence, and self-esteem, plus the considerable benefits to a student’s Mathematic, English and vocabulary skills.
The foundation produces the 38-year-old, iconic and nationally recognized Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival each year in November. Over an eleven-day period, thousands of visitors from all over the United States, as well as several foreign countries, come to see and hear over 200 Grammy Award and up and coming songwriters perform their songs and tell the stories of how those songs came to exist. Intimate performances take place in venues from Silverhill to downtown Pensacola, Florida. This year’s festival will take place Nov. 3-13 and will be dedicated to and in memory of the festival founder, Joe Gilchrist who passed away recently. A performance of hit songwriters staged with the Pensacola Symphony on NOv. 8. The mission statement of the Frank Brown International Foundation for Music is to bring the authors of original music out of the shadows and into the spotlight; to reach into schools to enrich lives and encourage creativity through music; and to support tourism in the Gulf Coast region.
For more info about the fest, email email@example.com or call 251-978-6213. For more info about the schools outreach program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-384-4001.
Pictured: (l to r) Trevon Andrews, Chloe Rabin, Nathan Higginson, Taylor Williams.