September 12

Stax Music Academy and Gibson Gives Announce Student Scholarship Recipients for 2023-2024 SMA Afterschool Program


Stax Music Academy and Gibson GivesAnnounce Recipients For 2023-2024SMA Afterschool Program Acclaimed Program Pairs Middle and High School Students with Music Education and Mentoring
Above (L-R): Isaiah Blair, Zariya Scullark, Shaun Murray and Jack Ward, SMA Afterschool Program 2023-24 student scholarship recipients. 
NASHVILLE, TN (August 30, 2023) Stax Music Academy and Gibson Gives have announced the student scholarship recipients for the new SMA Afterschool Program for 2023-24. The incredibly talented student recipients of the Gibson Gives Scholarship for the SMA Afterschool Program at Stax Music Academy include: Isaiah Blair, Zariya Scullark, Shaun Murray, and Jack Ward.  Available to all middle and high school students with an interest in music, the Stax Music Academy (SMA) Afterschool Program is energetic, challenging, and designed to help students earn music scholarships to college and result in civic-minded, socially conscious, successful adults. In addition to participating in the SMA music program, these gifted guitarists will be honored at a special reception on September 14th at Stax Music Academy in Memphis, TN. Meet the exceptional Gibson Gives Scholarship recipients, each showcasing remarkable talents and accomplishments. Jack Ward, a sophomore at East High School, stands out as a guitarist extraordinaire, contributing his skills to both the Jazz and Rhythm Section Ensembles at Stax Music Academy (SMA). He even made history this summer by being part of SMA’s opening band for KIDZ BOP. Zariya Scullark, a freshman at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering, impresses as a gifted guitarist at SMA, having played at Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City Festival in NYC and opening for KIDZ BOP. Shaun Murraya junior from Faith Heritage Christian Academy, shines as a bass guitarist in SMA’s Rhythm Section Ensemble. Beyond music, Shaun actively engages in Student Council, Bridge Builders, and videography. Lastly, senior Isaiah Blair from Southwind High School, a bass guitarist at SMA’s Rhythm Section Ensemble, showcased his prowess alongside Stax legend Booker T. Jones in NYC and earned a Berklee College of Music scholarship. These students not only excel at SMA but also contribute to their school bands and other endeavors, embodying a true dedication to their craft and community. A massively successful music institute located at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, TN the Stax Music Academy provides training, classes, rehearsals, ensembles, and more in vocals, instrumentals, music theory, production and audio engineering, songwriting, as well as music business, videography, choreography, and more. The school pairs its music education with equal parts mentoring, offering social and emotional growth learning, professional mental wellness counseling, and college preparedness training. Gibson–the leading global instrument brandsupports the global music community through its philanthropic arm, Gibson Gives. The mission of Gibson Gives-a 501©(3)-is to support non-profit organizations worldwide in their efforts to advance musicians, youth-focused education, music, and health and wellness initiatives. 100% of donations to Gibson Gives go towards giving the gift of music. In the last four years, Gibson Gives has raised over $4.5 million dollars and enabled $46 million in funding for key organizations. Through product donations and meaningful giving, Gibson continues to shape the sounds of generations of musicians across the globe. For this new partnership, Gibson Gives is now providing assistance to all students in need of tuition in the SMA Afterschool Program via the Skip Pitts and Albert King Gap FundsAlbert King was an American guitarist and singer signed to Stax Records, who is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential blues singers of all time. He is perhaps best known for his popular and influential song “Born Under a Bad Sign” (1967). Skip Pitts was the longtime guitarist for Isaac Hayes’ who played the famous wah-wah riff on the Academy Award-winning song “Theme from Shaft.” Stax Music AcademySTAXMUSICACADEMY.ORG Gibson Gives: GIBSONGIVES.ORG

About Stax Academy:The Stax Music Academy is a premier afterschool and summer music institute that provides industry-centric music education combined with creative youth development programming. It is the only music institute in the world that focuses on the musical art form created at Stax in the 1960s and 70s and how the evolution of that music can translate into the original music students are creating today. Since 2008, every senior enrolled in the Stax Music Academy has been accepted to college. About Gibson Gives:For over 130 years, the iconic and leading American instrument brand Gibson has been shaping sound across generations and genres. Gibson, and its charitable arm Gibson Gives believe in the power of music, and that getting instruments into the hands of those with a desire to make music is a life-changing event. Gibson Gives–a 501(c)(3) is committed to making the world a better place by supporting non-profit organizations and programs in their efforts to advance musicians, youth-focused education, music, health, and wellness initiatives. 100% of all donations to and from Gibson Gives go towards giving the gift of music. In the last three years, Gibson Gives has raised over $4.5 million dollars and enabled $46 million in funding for key organizations through product donations and meaningful giving worldwide. For more information, visit: www.gibsongives.orgAbout Gibson:Gibson, the leading iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for 130 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships, and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the leading guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, which has been on every stage since 1873, Kramer, the original MADE TO ROCK HARD guitar brand, MESA/Boogie, the home of tone, KRK, behind great music for over 30 years, and Maestro, the founder of effect pedals. Gibson Brands is dedicated to quality, innovation, and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands. Explore more at Gibson.comGibson App, and on Gibson TV, follow us on InstagramX and Facebook, and visit us at the Gibson Garage.