Audio-Technica officially kicked off its 50th Anniversary Year in the U.S. with a special gala event held in January during the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim featuring an all-star music revue produced by GrammyAward-winning producer Phil Ramone.
Among the featured all-star cast of performers were saxophonist and longtime Audio-Technica endorser Mindi Abair, R&B/jazz vocalist Patti Austin, new age/adult-contemporary superstar and Audio-Technica endorser Jim Brickman, smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, vocalist Monica Mancini, legendary trumpeter/pianist/composer Arturo Sandoval, gospel/R&B music legend BeBe Winans and Canadian jazz-pop vocalist Nikki Yanofsky.
In commemoration of the event, all eight performers have decided to donate their performance honoraria to different music education programs and institutions, helping promote the importance of music education and assisting students in their pursuits.
Greg Pinto, Audio-Technica U.S. vice president of marketing and consumer sales, states, “It was thrilling to have Phil Ramone produce the concert, and to have these eight world-class artists perform at our anniversary celebration in Anaheim marking ‘50 Years of Passionate Listening,’ and it is a special honor that they are donating these funds toward music education, a cause that is very near to the hearts of the A-T family.”
Ramone donated his honorarium to The Salvation Army’s Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children.
Abair has decided to donate to the Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program, creating the Mindi Abair/Audio-Technica Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Scholarship. Austin is also donating her honorarium to the Berklee College of Music. Brickman is giving to his alma mater Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), creating the Jim Brickman/Audio-Technica Scholarship.
Koz is proud to donate to the Grammy Camp (held at and in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music), creating the Dave Koz/Audio-Technica Grammy Camp Scholarship. Mancini selected The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, thereby creating the Monica Mancini/Audio-Technica Donation for Music Education.
Sandoval chose the Young Musicians’ Camp at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, creating the Arturo Sandoval/Audio-Technica Scholarship for the Young Musicians’ Camp. Winans is donating to Juilliard’s Summer Jazz Workshops, creating the BeBe Winans/Audio-Technica Scholarship. Yanofsky has selected the Schulich School of Music and its Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) at McGill University, creating the Nikki Yanofsky/Audio-Technica Scholarship.
Audio-Technica endorser Abair says, “Audio-Technica has been helping me achieve my sound for more than 18 years on the road and in the studio. I was honored to play for their 50th Anniversary and even more honored to give back with a scholarship to Berklee’s five-week program. I grew up musically and personally while getting my degree at Berklee. I was encouraged to be an individual there and create my own musical vision. That’s priceless. I couldn’t be happier to pass that gift along to another individual.”
Beverly Tryon, director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Berklee College of Music, remarks, “We are very grateful to Mindi Abair for selecting her alma mater to receive this generous scholarship support, and to Audio-Technica for making it possible. This scholarship will allow a deserving young person to participate in this life-changing summer experience at Berklee.”
Fellow A-T endorser Brickman states, “I want to express my thanks to Audio-Technica for the opportunity to create the Jim Brickman/Audio-Technica Scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Music. CIM is the school where I found my sound. I think it’s important to cultivate musicianship, and their teachers do just that. My hope is that through scholarship efforts like this one, it will open doors and further the music education of another aspiring pianist.”
“It is particularly gratifying that Jim has chosen the Cleveland Institute of Music as the beneficiary of this wonderful gift, since he is one of our own, having studied here with Marshall Griffith and Olga Radosavljevich. It was their teaching that helped transform Jim’s future life, and through this gift, CIM will be able to continue our goal of transforming lives for their future, through all that we do,” says conservatory dean Adrian Daly.
“In consultation with the piano faculty, the scholarship will be awarded to a student who ‘reminds us of Jim,’ with the special qualities he has and has developed to be the wonderful musician, artist and entertainer that he has become. We are also extremely grateful to Audio-Technica for their connections with Jim Brickman, and for their ongoing support of our institutional mission of providing a world-class educational and transformative experience for our students, and for those with whom we interact.”