At the Rotary Club's Scholarshiip Awards Ceremony, Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Board Members Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Chris Levister (left), and Rotary's Jack Winston (right), congratulate winners Joshua Mainez, Madeline Zweber, and Gavin Harris (center).

Dr. Hugh Bialecki, Chris Levister, Joshua Mainez, Madeline Zweber, Gavin Harris, and Rotary’s Jack Winston.


2018 Future Generation Scholarships

Gavin Harris, Joshua Mainez and Madeline Zweiber Receive Awards

On May 29, 2018, the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation (BJJF) and Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead presented scholarships to three Rim of the World High School Seniors during Seniors Scholarship Night. The awards were given to Gavin Harris, Joshua Mainez, and Madeline Zweber as part of the BJJF’s music education programs which include the ‘Adopt an Instrument’, free lending library, and Future Generation Music Scholarship.

Representing the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation board were Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Board President Chris Levister. Jack Winston was on hand to hand out the scholarships for the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead.

Each recipient was asked to write something about him- or herself and the part music plays in their studies and life. Here is what they each wrote.

Gavin Harris began playing trumpet in the 4th grade, picked up piano in 6th grade, and then the trombone and euphonium as a high school freshman.

He writes, “While academically I’ve always been focused on mathematics and science, music has made a profound impact on my life. On normal days, I play for at least an hour, and on bad or stressful days, I play for several. The catharsis behind performing music has developed into a personal need for me. As of now, my most influential instrument is the piano. It allows the player to encompass at least seven octaves and to perform as a soloist, but sound like a band. With the piano, I can filter my thoughts through the intensive sixteenth-sextuplet runs of Fantasie Impromptu or the gentle chords of Comptine D’un Autre E’te – l’apres midi.

“As I entered the 11th grade,” he continues, “I began learning an arrangement of Hans Zimmer’s eight-minute music score First Step from the movie Interstellar – at the time the most complex piece that I had learned. It took me weeks between learning parts and movements, not because it was difficult, but because I only learned them when I was under emotional duress, which I had an ample amount of. I would speculate that without this method of relieving my stress, I would have struggled much more in high school.

Joshua Mainez, Gavin Harris, and Madeline Zweber

“I began learning jazz as well. Every song has some amount of grey area where the player determines the way the music is played, and jazz allowed me to exploit this more. The transitions, movements, and overall musical alterations in the piece allow the player to elicit their emotions into performance of a piece. I also engage in condensing and arranging compositions solely on a piano that were intended for full ensemble, which challenges me to analyze what is essential to each piece and what is dispensable, in an effort to delineate the true emotional purpose. Jazz only accentuates this.

“Now as I enter my adult life,” he says in conclusion, “my academics lie within the provinces of mathematics and science, yet my personality and my composure will always find space to encompass and integrate the stimulating works of Chopin and Hanz Zimmer.”

Joshua Mainez submitted the following profile:

“I’m 17 and a senior at RIM of the World High school. I have lived on this mountain my whole life with my brother, my mom, and my dad. Growing up in a community such as Lake Arrowhead has allowed me to become very close with a lot of people, most of which are in the music program.

“I have been in the music program since I was eleven-years-old and music is my passion that I hope to continue for the rest of my life. I am a hard worker and dedicated to the work that I put forth to music. I wrote a composition piece for RIM’s wind ensemble and orchestra programs as well as taught and conducted the piece, with the help of Ms. Naim of course. For my career path I plan to be a film composer, as writing music is what brings me joy. If I had a bad day, writing and/or playing something music related instantaneously brightens it. It is a passion that I wish to continue to pursue and prosper in because it is the one thing I believe I am good at, however it is not the only reason. During my time at RIM of the World High School I took an initiative to start a brass band with a few friends to demonstrate to the community the true power that music radiates. It is much more than notes on a page, to me it’s a lifestyle, and in a way, a sixth sense; a completely new perception that only music could give someone. That is why I want to share it with those who do not have a musical talent, as I want them to feel that impactful sensation that I feel whenever I pick up an instrument. I want to share the power of music to the world, and by doing so, I can make the world a little bit better for tomorrow.”

Madeline Zweber will look familiar to those who attended last year’s Jazz Festival or read the follow-up stories. She was Drum Major for the Marching Band that kicked off the third and final 2017 Concert. (Here she is pictured with Rim’s Music Director.)

Now Madeline is a part of the graduating class of 2018 and is very excited to be moving on to college life. She has dedicated most of her time in high school to music classes and extracurriculars such as Jazz Band, Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Advanced Choir. She has made music a top priority and owes most of her high school success to her music courses. In addition to Drum Major, Madeline has received titles of section leader, Vice President, and more as a trumpet player as well as a vocalist. Madeline Zweber is so thankful for all that the gift of music has given her.

“As a music student,” she writes, “life can get pretty crazy with performances and deadlines as well as festivals and obligations, but it’s something I wouldn’t change for the world. Music is something that has changed my life in ways that I had no idea were possible. It gave me a way to express myself and furthered my academic performance bounds beyond what I believed I was capable of. I found that as a music student, my focus is higher and I have better comprehension levels in any subjects that I find myself in. It has also provided me with opportunities to further careers and get in touch with people who I would have never known if it weren’t for my music courses. I owe so much to music because it truly has changed my life for the better. It has given me leadership qualities, social skills, responsibility, and a chance to show emotion. I really have given my all to music and it’s something I feel has kept on giving to me, no matter what the circumstances are.”

Congratulations to all three 2018 Scholarship Recipients. We look forward to following your progress and sharing your success in music and other endeavors with our Blue Jay Jazz family.


Music Education Workshops, Summer Jazz Camp, Instrument Bank

Blue Jay Jazz Foundation education programs provide jazz education scholarships, awards, instruments and live performance opportunities for exceptional and talented students and performers; presents year-round in-school music workshops, provides support for low-income youth and families to attend and participate in music and cultural events within the community that would otherwise be unavailable due to limited resources. Our programs encourage parents/guardians to expose children to new and different forms of music, while sharing quality time together. In addition, we serve a broad based general audience of mountain residents and visitors.

Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Future Generation of Jazz Scholarship testimonials:

“Thanks to the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation, our son went from a ‘nervous’ horn player in 2007 to a confident, accomplished jazz saxophonist at USC’s Thornton School of Music.” —  Deborah, parent and co-founder of

<p“My Future Generation Jazz scholarship was like Miracle Whip® on a sandwich; it tied everything together. The master classes gave me the confidence I needed to emancipate from foster care.”  – Claude, UCLA

“To many, San Manuel is Indian gaming. To me their charitable donations to organizations like the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation is access to college.” – Josh Phillips, 2011 Scholarship Recipient

“I was born blind. I’m excited about the Future Generation Jazz (online) Sheet Music program. It will strengthen my Braille. The special downloads will make it easier to ‘hear’ the music.” – Alexandra, 8th grade

“I am homeless. My folks are on drugs and spend a lot of time in jail. Music in school makes me feel better.”  – Ted, 7th grade

“BJJF’s education programs have allowed thousands of students, as well as teachers and students’ families, to experience jazz, many for the first time.” – Dr. Gary S. Thomas, San Bernardino County Superintendent

“We cannot let the financial storm inflicted by ongoing “budgetary shackles” impede access. The important work of the BJJF is ensuring access, the future of our soul.” – Dr. Albert Karnig, Cal State San Bernardino

“Our instruments were lost in the Hurricane Katrina flood. I dream of playing in a Mardi Gras parade or a jazz funeral. The BJJF/Rotary music education scholarship and Instrument Bank & Sheet Music programs keep my dreams alive.” – Precious Lewis, 11th grade

“I play my horn to put me and my sister to sleep. My parents work three jobs. They’re never home to kiss us goodnight.” –  Cole, 5th grade

Target encourages young people to reach for their dreams and rewards students who strive to achieve excellence in their schools and in their communities. We salute the BJJF’s time and talents to those in need. – Target Community Outreach

Presented by the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation
Co-Partner: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Co-presenters: Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club, San Bernardino County Schools, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

As part of a continuing commitment to perpetuate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz through theoretical and performance education, the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation created the Future Generation Jazz Youth Initiative (NGJYI).

Since its inception in 2007, Future Generation Jazz has been awarding scholarships, grants and music internships to help aspiring ‘young jazz lions’ develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self image, and a respect for their own and others’ cultural heritage.

Future Generation Jazz Youth Initiative is made possible by the unwavering support of our sponsors, fans, BJJF Jazz Ambassadors, public donations and the generous support of local businesses, education and civic organizations throughout the region.

Every spring, the NGJYI invites the best and the brightest student musicians from across the mountain community to participate in the Future Generation Jazz Scholarship audition.

Scholarship and grant recipients perform live with renowned jazz musicians during the Foundation’s annual “Jazz in Blue Jay” summer concert series held Thursdays in August.

The Foundation encourages visiting artists to give master classes and clinics to collegiate and high school music students. Previous participants in this program include multiple Grammy and Emmy Award winning guitarist, Kenny Burrell, the elder statesman of Latin-jazz, El Conguero! Poncho Sanchez, all female big band Maiden Voyage with educator and saxophonist Ann Patterson and Tower of Power co-founder horn-mister Greg Adams.

BJJF is committed to perpetuating the musicianship of aspiring, students that reflect the diversity of expression and opportunities that define music today.

We believe that the lessons and qualities derived from that work—the self-discipline needed for excellence, the empathy required of music making and the openness and inquisitiveness essential to creativity—are critical to achievement in any pursuit, musical or otherwise; and that music is a powerful catalyst for personal growth, which is central to any collegiate experience.

We invite you to help us ‘Keep Jazz Alive’ for generations to come by contributing to the Blue Jay Jazz Education Programs.

The Future Generation Jazz Youth Initiative offers you multiple marketing benefits, and every investment in our partnerships and sponsorships is reinvested in the future of Jazz music.