New York, December 14, 2005. The tenth annual ASCAP Foundation Awards Reception was held tonight at The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The invitation-only 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. Earlier this year, 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 have 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 will establish a special fund in Billy Joel's name that will be earmarked to support the 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 musical summer 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.
In celebration of Joel's illustrious career, singer-pianist Johnny Rodgers performed selections from the superstar's pop catalogue, and pianist Molly Morkowski played two movements from Joel's Opus 1-10: Fantasies & Delusions: Music For Solo Piano.
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.
The complete list of 2005 honorees follows:
Harold Arlen Film & TV Award
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
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
Fellowship for Composition & Film Scoring at Aspen Music Festival & School
Everett Howell Griffiths
Leonard Bernstein Composer Fellowship at Tanglewood
Boosey & Hawkes Young Composer Award Honoring Aaron Copland at LaGuardia High School
Sammy Cahn Award
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
Max Dreyfus Scholarship at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Ira Gershwin Scholarship at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art
Jerry Herman Legacy Scholarship
Morgan Weed, Brad Weinstock & Jeremy Wimmer
Steve Kaplan TV & Film Studies Scholarship
Leiber & Stoller Music Scholarship
Clinton Cromwell & David Feldman
Livingston & Evans Music Scholarship
Frederick Loewe Scholarship at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Henry Mancini Institute Scholarships
Jeremy Fletcher, Justin Freer, Momoko Hayashi, Matthew Janszen & Outi Tarkiainen
Michael Masser Scholarship Honoring Johnny Mercer at LaGuardia High School
Morton Gould Young Composer Award
Rudolf Nissim Prize
Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship
David Rose Scholarship
Young Jazz Composer Awards