We nurture the development of future musicians currently studying in middle and high schools across North Carolina with the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival (JCIJBF) Student Essay Contest. It has been documented that the benefits that come with a concentration in music education positively affects the study habits for young students.
The Student Essay Contest is an important part of the yearly festival as it is a 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. Students are asked to submit a video or a written essay explaining their music aspirations, affinities and needs. Winners receive a free, brand-new instrument of their choosing. Winners are introduced by festival hosts, on stage, with their prizes made possible by Bill Banks, Joe Williams, and KHS America, Inc., an instrument manufacturer along with local sponsors.
Each year, one of the festival performers joins the students on stage to encourage them in their studies and give advice for developing a career in music. It is an exciting time for the students and their families. Mom,dad and siblings get to see their young, striving musician presented to the community of international artists, professional musicians, local community leaders as well as the JCIJBF audience in attendance. To date, we have awarded over 100 instruments to aspiring students at a retail value of over $160,000.
Only students enrolled in a North Carolina middle or high school are eligible to participate. July 16 is the entry deadline. 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.