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Holtz jazz scholarship nears fundraising goal

The Post 6 Big Band in performance in 2021.
Rich Egger
TSPR file photo
The Post 6 Big Band in performance in 2021.

Organizers of the Jeff Holtz Jazz Recording Scholarship are close to hitting their fundraising goal.

The scholarship helps Western Illinois University jazz students record a professional-looking video to use when applying for jobs or graduate school.

“We’ve had two students in the Glenn Miller band. They used video from their time at Western to be able to do that. So, it’s an invaluable resource,” said John Cooper, Director of the Post 6 Big Bandand retired professor of Jazz Studies at WIU.

He said the videos also help the WIU School of Music recruit students.

Cooper said the goal is to raise $25,000 for the endowment, which will then allow the scholarships to be paid for with interest earned.

He said they’ve raised $21,000 so far. They hope to hit the goal by Wednesday, April 24, when the Post 6 Big Band performs at the American Legion in Macomb. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Cooper said they have $2,000 to match donations made between now and then and help push them across the finish line.

The scholarship is named for the late Jeff Holtz, the longtime host of Jazz After Hours on Tri States Public Radio. He passed away in August, 2021.

“I’m really, really glad to be able to remember Jeff in this way. He gave so much to the tri states area in terms of his program,” Cooper said.

“We miss him. This will be a wonderful way to help remember him.”

He said in addition to the radio program, Holtz was also a member of the Post 6 Big Band’s board and assisted with the Al Sears Jazz Festival in Macomb.

Cooper said the Post 6 Big Band will open the April 24 show the same way they open every performance -- with State Street Suite, which was Holtz’s theme song for Jazz After Hours.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.