NEWBURYPORT — Thanks to a group of local musicians and music supporters from Newburyport and surrounding communities, The Walk Back In Time/Music For Music Fundraising Event held annually for the past two years in August is offering two $1,000 scholarships for seniors graduating in 2013.
The Walk Back In Time Foundation’s focus is to help the local schools maintain music education. The organizers now have introduced two scholarships for the graduating class of 2013.
One $1,000 scholarship is named the John Battis Memorial Scholarship and will be available to a senior from Newburyport High School.
“John Battis was an extremely influential musician and music teacher here in Newburyport,” said Jim Grenier, a spokesmen for the Walk back in Time Foundation, in a press release. “Nearly every musician that took the stage last year had some relationship with John at one time or another. It seemed only fitting that we do something for John in return.”
The second $1,000 scholarship is open to both Newburyport and Triton seniors. According to Jim Grenier, “We named this the Music for Music Scholarship because that is exactly what it is. Musicians putting in their time and talent to raise money for future musicians.”
Description of and applications for the scholarships are available at Newburyport High School and Trition Regional High School offices.
Buddy Lauder, event coordinator, along with Jim Grenier and Pam Lauder, directors, worked closely with Superintendent Marc Kerble to reinstate a teacher for a choral program at the Nock Middle School by donating nearly $8,000 in 2011. In addition to the two new scholarships to be awarded this year, money was also donated for music lessons at the middle school for this year.
The August event, where most of the money is raised, is a huge group effort from people working on committees, volunteering the night of the event and, of course, the rock bands that play the night of the event. Most of the above include NHS graduates from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The rock bands are comprised of local musicians and singers as well as some who come from some distance away. One of the bands, The Shadows, were well-known “back in the day” and have been playing together for nearly 50 years. The Reunion Band hosts a changing lineup of musicians from to year to year. This year’s version includes many former students of NHS, an NHS music teacher as well as a talented student of Triton Regional High School. The local acoustic duo Stellwagen powers up with guest musicians for a folk-rock tribute to the old classic songs.
Pam Lauder put it this way: “We’ve created something unique for this community. We have an annual event that sells out early, performs great music, raises money for our children and lets everyone involved know they are contributing to the future. With these two new scholarships perhaps we are helping launch the next great musician, songwriter or producer.”
The Walk Back in Time event is scheduled for Aug. 10.