MILWAUKEE, WIS. (May 17, 2010) The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has received multi-year funding from the Eric D. Batterman Memorial Grant to provide scholarships for youth in support of the Conservatory’s new Jazz Institute program. This gift is the largest single program contribution the Conservatory has ever received.
Eric Batterman was professional percussionist, keyboard player, composer, arranger, electronic musician and producer. A strong supporter of the Conservatory of Music, Eric stated "The jazz programs with master classes are invaluable to students. I remember attending many when I was in high school and coming away brimming with inspiration." Eric Batterman passed away in 2008 and his love for music and jazz will live on to support students of the new Jazz Institute at the Conservatory of Music.
The funding from the Eric D. Batterman Grant will provide scholarship assistance to 12 Milwaukee area youth to participate in private lessons, combos, jazz history classes as well as summer jazz camp. These twelve students will be the inaugural class for the Jazz Institute. Each year, as the program develops the core group will expand.
"We are extremely grateful for the Eric D. Batterman Memorial Grant to establish this Institute. Our new Jazz Institute will increase the jazz music education presence in Southeastern Wisconsin by providing further education from seasoned, professional jazz instructors. It will also allow us to provide more scholarship opportunities, summer camps, and music education programs in Milwaukee inner-city schools and other service locations in southeastern Wisconsin," stated Karen Deschere, President of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
Mark Davis, a jazz piano instructor at the Conservatory since 1992 and chair of the jazz department will serve as the Chair of the Jazz Institute. Doc Severinsen serves as the Institute’s Honorary Chairman and announced the formation of the Institute at a concert he performed last year at The Pabst Theater.
About the Jazz Institute
The Conservatory’s jazz program was initiated in 1972 by the pianist Tony King and was one of the first jazz degree programs in the United States. While no longer a degree-granting institution, the Conservatory’s jazz program, and now the Jazz Institute, follows closely in the footsteps of this award-winning artist.
With funding by the Eric D. Batterman Grant, the Jazz Institute is an enhancement to the Conservatory of Music’s long-established jazz education programs. Students may participate in the Institute for up to four years. Additionally, the Institute will provide experiences that are open to all the Conservatory’s jazz students including individual classes, summer camps and master classes with jazz artists. The Eric Batterman grant will enable the Conservatory to bring in two to three guest artists each year to work with the students as well as perform for the general public. Jazz saxophone legend Charles McPherson and Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch were the Institute’s first guests, performing and teaching.
About the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is the oldest and largest non-profit independent music school in Wisconsin. The Conservatory provides the finest musical education and performance opportunities for every stage of life, from the aspiring professional performer to individuals of any age that seeks musical enrichment and self-fulfillment. For more information call (414) 276-5760 or visit www.wcmusic.org.