This is the third consecutive year that ASCAP, through its Latin and Concert Music departments, has worked closely with the Celia Cruz Foundation to monitor the selection process and assist with the identification of students from various schools in the city. The schools are contacted by the Performing Rights Organization, and the professors submit their candidates. This year’s recipients include the following students:
Andy Piña – He is 15 years old and a sophomore at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. Andy has been playing the saxophone for four years. He plays the alto saxophone, soprano saxophone and baritone saxophone. Andy is the saxophone Section Leader in the Symphonic band; he plays in the Jazz Band, and is a member of the school’s award winning Saxophone Quartet. He is an Honor Roll Student, Sophomore Class President, and an active member of the campus baseball team.
Jamie Flores – He is 16 years old, a junior, and a member of the founding class of the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. Jamie has been pursuing music for as long as he can remember. He is a tenor 1 at the high school's Select Choir; rehearsal pianist for other school choirs, and is also enrolled in the Julliard School's MAP program as a pianist. He has performed in his school's Madrigal Ensemble and Musical Theatre Ensemble, in addition to performing in ANNIE this past summer as a singer / dancer / actor in Queens, NY. He is in the advanced music theory program at The Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, and participates in many extracurricular academic honors programs.
Marlenny Hernandez – She is 16 years old and is a junior at the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. She began playing the violin in Middle School, and currently plays first violin in the high school's Major Orchestra. She recently became a member of the Celia Cruz String Quartet. Her achievements in intermediate music theory in her sophomore year earned her placement in advanced theory. She is also a member of the Student Council.
Jorge Pagan - He was born in New York City in 1993. He lives with his mother, father and older sister in Queens, NY. A sixth grader, Jorge attends the Immaculate Conception School. Jorge began taking private drum set lessons at the Center in the fall of 2003. He is currently studying with the renowned jazz percussionist / composer Reggie Nicholson. Jorge’s musical talent can be traced to his grandfather who was a guitarist in Puerto Rico, and his mother, aunt and sister who sing in their church choir here in New York. Jorge recently began playing drums for the choir.
Erica Salguera - She is twelve years old. Born in Manhattan in 1993, she currently lives in Staten Island with her mother, stepfather and five siblings. Erica is in the seventh grade at PASS Middle School, located in P.S. 19 on 1st Avenue and 11th Street. Prior to PASS, she attended P.S. 137 in the Lower East Side. Erica began saxophone lessons one year ago. As a very promising student she has excelled in a short amount of time to be an assistant to her band teacher at PASS. In her own words, “She helps beginning clarinet students with fingering, which notes are what, basically how to put it all together.” In addition, she sings in her school’s chorus.
Ashley Vijande – She is 12 years old and was enrolled in the Oneida’s Dance Studio in New Jersey when she was 4 years old. Ashley is a respectful, and extremely disciplined student with a great talent for music and dance.
These grants presentation are possible in part thanks to the Kellog’s support.
The Celia Cruz Foundation was created in the summer of 2002 by Cruz's beloved husband Pedro Knight and her manager Omer Pardillo. The Foundation's mission is to offer financial assistance to Latin students that wish to study music. It has also been a great contributor in the fight against cancer. Donations to the Celia Cruz Foundation may be sent to: The Celia Cruz Foundation Inc. P.O. Box 649 Edgewater NJ 07020.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the world's largest performing-right organization, with over 220,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances. ASCAP's repertory spans the entire spectrum of music from pop to symphonic, rock to gospel, Latin to country to jazz, rhythm and blues, theater, film and television music. ASCAP's Board of Directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership.