It has been documented that the benefits that come with a concentration in music education positively affects study habits for young students. That is why the Student Essay Contest is an important part of the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. It is the way the Friends of John Coltrane, Inc. connects Coltrane’s master musician and composer legacy to the community of young people seeking to continue a music education. To date, we have awarded almost 100 instruments to aspiring students at a retail value of over $135,000.
Although the 10th Annual John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival has been postponed until next year, the 2020 Student Instrument Contest sponsored by the Friends of John Coltrane, Inc., is still being held. The contest offers North Carolina middle and high school student musicians an opportunity to win a brand new instrument by expressing their need and the importance of music in their lives. Students are asked to submit a video or a written essay explaining their music aspirations, affinities and needs. Winners receive a free instrument of their choosing. The entry deadline has been extended to midnight Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.
Only students enrolled in a North Carolina middle or high school are eligible to participate. Students can choose one of the three following options to submit an entry:
- Upload Video Option – Record and upload video responses.
- Written Essay Online Option – Upload a 100-250 word, typed, double spaced written essay, with a photo.
- Written Essay Mail in Option – Mail a 100-250 word, typed, double spaced written essay with a photo to Student Essay Contest, c/o Friends of John Coltrane, P.O. Box 2392, High Point, NC 27261.
Traditionally, winners are presented with their prize instruments on stage during the festival. Organizers are working out the plans for how winners will receive their prize instruments this year, which will likely include some type of virtual presentation event. The prizes are made possible by Joe Williams, Bill Banks, along with KHS America, Inc., an instrument manufacturer. The Friends of John Coltrane, Inc. hope to receive additional tax deductible donations and sponsors to fund the purchase of more instruments which will enable them to give to a larger number of students who are in need due to the impending economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.