May 9, 2001
BMI Foundation’s Lennon Scholarship Winners
NEW YORK, May 9, 2001 – BMI Foundation, Inc. today announced the winners of the 4th Annual John Lennon Scholarship program during a presentation at the BMI New York office. The winners are Hunter College student Margarita Shamrakov, who received first place honors and a $10,000 scholarship for her piece “Tragedy,” Berklee College of Music students Ben Ward (“All Fall Down”) and Michael Flynn (“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”), who tied for second place and each received $5,000, and third place winner Mark Tewarson from the New York Youth Symphony who took home a $2,000 scholarship for his song “Far From the Sun.” Finalists were chosen by a prestigious panel of judges including Suzan Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Marketing at the RIAA, legendary record producer Arif Mardin, and multiple Tony Award winner and musical theater composer Maury Yeston.
Four students were awarded an “Honorable Mention” and received a $1,000 scholarship: Southern Nazarene University student Troy DeLaRosa (“Brother To Me”), Rhode Island College student Thomas P. Conlon (“Broken”), University of Arizona student Frank Dillon (“Hard Times”) and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts student Daniel Romer-Friedman (“Saturday Night”).
Foundation President Theodora Zavin said, “The quality and range of the finalists was extraordinary this year. Our panel of judges wanted to recognize the level of artistic accomplishment by expanding the awards to include a total of eight prizes, and we are pleased that the growing endowment of the Lennon Scholarships Program permitted us to do that.” Zavin added, “We offer a special note of gratitude to the dozens of music educators from MENC who participated for the first time this year in early round judging.”
Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, the John Lennon Scholarship recognizes the talent of young songwriters between the ages of 15 and 24 and has awarded over $60,000 in scholarship money over the past 4 years. Entries are submitted by music schools, universities, youth orchestras and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Two of this year’s winners, Mr. DeLaRosa and Mr. Conlon, were chosen as finalists by MENC.
“The Foundation expresses its deepest gratitude to Yoko’s steadfast support and incredible generosity to the endowment of this scholarship, which allows us to continue recognizing young talent,” added Zavin. “We are extremely pleased to see this program developing and gaining real momentum.”
The BMI Foundation, founded in 1985 by BMI Senior Vice President Theodora Zavin, offers grants which make possible the continuation and development of creative programs for the composition of new music and the performance of these new compositions. With the aid of the distinguished writers, composers and publishers who serve on the Foundation’s Advisory Panel, the Foundation’s grants offer a platform of support that fosters the growth of young composers and ensures the continuation of the heritage of American musical ingenuity for generations to come.
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Contact: Robbin Ahrold