2020 Ron Waters Scholarship
Congratulations to Connor Coyle for receiving the 2020 Ron Waters Scholarship!
Connor has participated in our Youth Band and Jazz Camp for many years. He was presented the scholarship in socially-distanced fashion by youth band director Ron Waters (L) and executive director Andy Herring (R) at his home in July. He will continue his studies this fall at Georgetown University. Get to know Connor below with a little Q&A.
What is your favorite memory of performing with the Youth Band?
In August 2016, the Friends of Jazz sponsored a Jazzmobile. The youth band toured Harrisburg and had concerts at Strawberry Square, a nursing home, a daycare, and City Island. I really enjoyed spending time with my fellow musicians and having the experience of “going on tour.”
If you could jam with any jazz musician, who would it be and why?
The Count Basie Orchestra. I listen to big band music a lot when I’m studying, relaxing, or exercising.
What do you like to do besides play music?
I was the captain of my school’s quiz bowl team for three years, and my team has been one of the most dominant teams in Central PA. During my senior year, I was the school captain (student body president) within Trinity’s House System. I am a parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mechanicsburg, and I am a lector and sacristan there as well.
Any advice you’d give to a student just starting to play jazz?
If you want to learn more about any form of music, you have to listen. When I was younger, I remember listening to a jazz CD a day with my Dad. We started off by listening to Kind of Blue and progressed to Coltrane, Brubeck, and beyond. The second way to understand jazz is to learn about music theory. By learning about melody, harmony, chord progressions, and voice-leading, I was able to have a much deeper appreciation for the music that I was playing.
You’re attending Georgetown University to study foreign service – where do you think we’ll see you 10 years from now?
I’m not exactly sure. I hope to work for the federal government in some form or another (State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, etc…), and I hope to find a way to continue making music with other people.
Support the Scholarship Fund
You can help us support the ambitions of our talented student musicians by making a contribution to the Ron Waters Scholarship Fund. All contributions are fully tax-deductible.
Learn more about the Waters Scholarship Fund.