Flagstaff high school students will have the chance to apply for a new music scholarship this month. Started by Bob and Pina Miller in memory of their son, the Haven Walker Music Scholarship Fund is intended to help local instrumental musicians pay for tuition.
Haven Walker was a musician from the Flagstaff community, playing guitar and sarod in a number of groups before his death in February 2020. Pina Miller said the scholarship was created to honor Walker and his love of music .
âWe thought it would be a great way to honor and honor the memory of our son by helping the community with this scholarship,â she said.
In partnership with the Flagstaff Music Festival, a non-profit organization, the Millers will offer five $ 1,000 scholarships to local high school students to encourage their passion for music. They say the scholarships will be awarded based on talent, financial need and “a demonstrated commitment to music.”
Bob Miller described the potential beneficiaries as “talented high school students from Flagstaff who are in financial need and cannot afford to pay for their classes.”
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At least half of the funds from each scholarship will be spent on music lessons for instrumental musicians. Vocal musicians will not be eligible for this year’s scholarships, but students who go on charters or are home-schooled are also encouraged to apply.
The Millers “have been working intensively on this subject since June” and said they were delighted to finally be able to offer the scholarship. Applications will be open from January 15 to 26. After being reviewed by an advisory committee of local musicians and music teachers, the five recipients will be announced at the end of March.
âThe idea is that each fellow will have a mentor who will work with that student and come up with a good plan to maximize the use of the $ 1,000,â said Bob Miller. “[The scholarship] for talented musicians financially needy of any instrument – it doesn’t matter whether it’s classical, jazz, rock’n’roll or bluegrass.
The Millers hope that each of the fellows will attend the awards ceremony in the spring. They also plan to increase the fund over time, adding additional and larger scholarships.
Pina Miller said they had supported Walker in his music education since he was 13, making sure he had access to instruments and music lessons. Walker made two pilgrimages to India to study sarod under Ali Akbar Kahn, she said, and performed with artists such as David Lindley.
“He got into a number of different rock ‘n’ roll groups,” said Bob Miller. “Huck Freely, Eaten by Ants – they had very funny names.”
A statement announcing the scholarship called Walker “an amazing musician, son, father and friend to all.”
âHe was a fixture for 20 years on the Flagstaff music scene, playing guitar, sarod and crossing many genres of music,â he said. “His untimely passing still makes us cry, but his legacy will continue through this new scholarship fund.”
More information, including application instructions, can be found at flagstaffmusicfestival.com/#apply.