FBISF Foundation For Music donates $39,593 to UWF Dept. of Music
Representatives from The Frank Brown Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival Foundation for Music recently presented a $39,593 check to the The University of West Florida Department of Music in support of the Larry Butler Memorial Music Award. The donation will provide opportunities for students to work with world-class artists and travel to competitions, conventions and elite music festivals.
The Larry Butler Memorial Music Award was created in 2015 by Peggy Butler in memory of her husband, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer and Pensacola native. More than $132,000 has been raised by the Butler family and friends since then. Nearly $40,000 in scholarships have been awarded from donations and fundraisers, including an annual benefit concert at Vinyl featuring Dean Dillon.
“This gift – this legacy – is a testament to the profound influence music can have on a community, and I know that Larry is smiling,” Peggy Butler said. “The show was an amazing success, and I want to thank every individual, business and organization who played a role, including the hosts, artists and supporters. Larry’s family and friends are especially grateful for this fund established in his name for UWF students; it is a hometown honor.”
“This gift will positively impact our students, faculty and community on a daily basis,” said Dr. Sheila Dunn, chair of the Department of Music. “it is truly transformational for our music students and for our department.”
Larry Butler worked with renowned recording artists Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers, among others, during his career in Nashville, and continued to show appreciation for his hometown through his generosity, including holding a benefit concert to raise money for the rebuilding effort following Hurricane Ivan.
The award has also allowed the UWF Music Dept. to forge a partnership with the Pensacola Community Music School to provide free music lessons to underprivileged children and purchase critical instruments, make classroom and music studio upgrades at UWF. upgrades to our classrooms and music studios.
“Larry started his music career here in Pensacola, singing the national anthem at Naval Air Station Pensacola and playing the piano on the Lynn Toney show,’’ Peggy Butler said. “Little Larry Butler from Pensacola, who went on to win a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, would be thrilled that his legacy continues in his hometown that he loved.”
The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival hosts Grammy Award winning songwriters and rising stars, who perform original songs in multiple locations in the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast. Festival attendees enjoy a personal concert experience and learn the stories behind the songs as told by the original author. Venues attract more than 200 songwriters who come from around the world.
Pictured: The UWF Foundation received a donation in support of the Larry Butler Memorial Music Award from Peggy Butler at the Museum