Third year music student Lucas Denneboom of Brockville, ON has received the prestigious 2014 scholarship from the Freddie Gruber Scholarship Fund In Memory of Buddy Rich and Nick Ceroli.
The one-year scholarship is given by the Percussive Arts Society (www.pas.org), the world’s largest percussion organization with over 7,000 members. Scholarship submissions are taken from around the world, and are in the form of a brief video of the applicant drumming in various styles. An expert panel evaluates the student’s skills.
The scholarship is awarded annually in memory of legendary jazz drummers Buddy Rich and Nick Ceroli. The late Freddie Gruber was a legendary jazz drummer and educator who played with some of the most prolific jazz musicians of his time.
“I am truly surprised and honoured to receive this scholarship,” says Mr. Denneboom. “Mr. Gruber’s legacy is one that requires no embellishment. With students that include Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and many others, it is needless to say that it is humbling to receive an award in Mr. Gruber's name. I can’t thank the Percussive Arts Society enough for their generous support of young percussionists.”
Mr. Denneboom says his time at StFX has been challenging and enjoyable in ways he hadn’t even expected.
“I was drawn to the university by its world-class music faculty. Professor Terry O’Mahoney, my studio professor, is truly a first-rate musician and educator in every respect. As a highly acclaimed author and player, he has taught me more in two years than I would have ever thought possible.
“Prof. O’Mahoney and the other music faculty have shown me that in music, only practice and consistency is rewarded with results,” he says.
“StFX has helped me to develop practice habits that support long-term growth and musical development. In addition to my musical progress, the fun-loving StFX community and my friends in my campus employment including the X-Patrol and the TSG have made Antigonish a truly unique place to call home for eight months of the year.”
Mr. Denneboom says the music faculty are incredibly supportive and are willing to help whether inside of office hours or not. “I feel that my professors at StFX have a sincere personal investment in my growth as a musician, and are willing to go to great lengths to assist me in that development. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve went to a prof’s office with no appointment, well outside of office hours, only to be greeted with a smile and a ‘what can I do for you?’ Sometimes it is a genuine willingness to help that makes all the difference to a student.”
Mr. Denneboom also has a jazz combo, The Lucasloud Trio (www.lucasloud.com).