March 01, 2006

The Piano Champ

The ASCAP Foundation Inaugural Champion Award in Music Education Presented to Billy Joel at 10th Annual ASCAP Foundation Reception

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JUST THE WAY THEY ARE: (l-r) at The ASCAP Foundation Awards ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center are ASCAP Foundation Champion Award in Music Education honoree Billy Joel with ASCAP Foundation President Marilyn Bergman.


As part of the inaugural Champion Award in Music Education, The ASCAP Foundation established a special fund in Billy Joel's name that is earmarked to support the Summer Music Camp at the Manhattan School of Music.


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(l-r) ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento presenting the Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship to Ricardo Romaneiro.


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(l-r) ASCAP Foundation Board member Tita Cahn presenting the Sammy Cahn Award to Nicole Atkins.

The tenth annual ASCAP Foundation Awards Ceremony was held on December 14 at The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The event marked the 30th Anniversary of The ASCAP Foundation, and honored a wide variety of Scholarship and Award recipients, all of whom benefit from programs of The ASCAP Foundation.

The evening was highlighted with the special presentation of the inaugural Champion Award in Music Education to Billy Joel in recognition of his outstanding support of music education. Joel first began holding "master class" sessions on college campuses more than 20 years ago, and has shared his musical knowledge with aspiring musicians and songwriters at colleges around the world. In 2005, he launched an ongoing educational initiative to provide seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities and music schools.

Commenting on the award, ASCAP Foundation President Marilyn Bergman said: "Everyone knows Billy Joel as the quintessential piano man, a great songwriter, performer and musician. What has not been as highly touted are his extensive philanthropic activities in connection with music education. For these reasons and more, we are proud to present Billy with the first-ever ASCAP Foundation Champion Award in Music Education."

As part of the inaugural Champion Award in Music Education, The ASCAP Foundation established a special fund in Billy Joel's name that is earmarked to support The ASCAP Foundation funded-Summer Music Camp at the Manhattan School of Music. This flagship program is a partnership between The ASCAP Foundation, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New York City Department of Education that provides the opportunity of a free summer music camp experience to talented kids from all over New York City who couldn't otherwise afford to attend a camp or have private music lessons.

Billy has enjoyed an extraordinary musical career. He has had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, Joel was presented with the Johnny Mercer Award, the organization's highest honor, in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and has received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award, presented for albums that have sold over 10 million copies. Among Billy Joel's numerous hit songs are such memorable classics as "Piano Man," "Just the Way You Are," "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," "My Life," "Tell Her About It" and "Uptown Girl." In addition, Joel has made his mark on the Broadway stage - Movin' Out, the long-running musical based on his songs, received two Tony Awards. A new Billy Joel career retrospective titled My Lives was issued last month by Columbia/Legacy Recordings.

The evening also marked the 30th Anniversary of The ASCAP Foundation. Established in 1975 after the estate of Jack Norworth, writer of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," left a bequest with instructions to create a program to honor and support young composers. The ASCAP Foundation honors this legacy by continuing to support more than 150 music education and talent development programs in all musical genres that are national and regional in scope.

2005 ASCAP FOUNDATION HONOREES

Harold Arlen Film & TV Award
Sean Paxton
Harold Arlen Musical Theater Award
Jerome Johnson & Tim Long
John Jiler & Georgia Stitt
Louis Armstrong Scholarship at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College
Elias Santos
Louis Armstrong Jazz Scholarship Honoring Duke Ellington at UCLA
Nicholas DePinna
Hitomi Oba
Louis Armstrong Award Honoring W.C. Handy at Mount Vernon High School
Sarah Bellot
Jason Scott
Louis Armstrong Scholarship at the University of New Orleans
Robert Duguay
Fellowship for Composition & Film Scoring at Aspen Music Festival & School
Everett Howell Griffiths
Leonard Bernstein Composer Fellowship at Tanglewood
Curtis Hughes
Boosey & Hawkes Young Composer Award Honoring Aaron Copland at LaGuardia High School
Andre Pohorelsky
Sammy Cahn Award
Nicole Atkins
Fran Morgenstern Davis Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music
Adam Czerepinski
Sarah Statler
Louis Dreyfus Warner/Chappell City College Scholarship Honoring George & Ira Gershwin at the City College of New York
Kasaun Henry
Max Dreyfus Scholarship at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Mark Allen
Ira Gershwin Scholarship at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art
Jacek Blaszkiewicz
Frederick Loewe Scholarship at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Paul Nelson
Steve Kaplan TV & Film Studies Scholarship
Robert Litton
Max Dreyfus Scholarship at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Mark Allen
Ira Gershwin Scholarship at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art
Jacek Blaszkiewicz
Leiber & Stoller Music Scholarship
Clinton Cromwell
David Feldman
Livingston & Evans Music Scholarship
Hongyu Chen
Michael Masser Scholarship Honoring Johnny Mercer at LaGuardia High School
Naomi Felder
Morton Gould Young Composer Award
Andrew Norman
Rudolf Nissim Prize
Andrew Norman
Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship
Ricardo Romaneiro
David Rose Scholarship
Gustave Greely
Young Jazz Composer Award
Sherisse Rogers
Jerry Herman Legacy Scholarship
Morgan Weed
Brad Weinstock
Jeremy Wimmer
Henry Mancini Institute Scholarships
Jeremy Fletcher
Justin Freer
Momoko Hayashi
Matthew Janszen
Outi Tarkiainen