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Lee Guse Memorial Jazz Scholarship
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(proficiency must be at WSMA Class A level or above)


Song Selections: (choose one ballad, one up-tempo and Duke Ellington’s

C Jams Blues


Ballads                       Up-Tempo                   All perform

Stardust                       I Got Rhythm               C Jam Blues                   

My Foolish Heart          It Don’t Mean A Thing                                              Skylark                        Take the “A” Train


Applicants are encouraged to perform with an accompanist or combo, or with a recorded accompaniment.


Instrumental applicants should select one ballad and one up-tempo rhythm changes tune from the lists below. Judges will listen for the applicant's ability to present the melody and improvise one or more of the choruses. Applicants are also required to play several choruses of Ellington's “C Jam Blues.”

Drummers: Must demonstrate the ability to play and improvise in Jazz, Latin, and Rock styles. 


Vocal applicants should select one ballad and one up-tempo rhythm changes tune from the lists below. Applicants are also required to sing the head and improvise several choruses of Ellington's “C Jam Blues.” You will be required to sing using the lyrics, and then improvise (scat).


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The Lee Guse Memorial Scholarship was established in loving memory by his family and friends to support students interested in pursuing jazz education with the hopes of continuing to foster the talents of those who recognize and appreciate jazz and the enrichment it offers to so many—just as Lee did. It is open to jazz players and vocalists in grades 10-12.


Lee Guse was a lifelong jazz fan and enthusiastic supporter of jazz music and artists.  As a young man he reveled in hearing the music of artists such as Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Coleman Hawkins and Oscar Peterson, and the Modern Jazz Quartet, among many others. More recently he became a fan of notable contemporary artists, including David Hazeltine and Brian Lynch.  He often spoke fondly of being able to see and hear some of the jazz greats play in downtown Milwaukee clubs.  Inspired by what he heard, he became a performing musician himself, playing upright bass, trumpet and piano in a variety of bands.  While he never considered himself a great musician, he understood and appreciated the dedication, talent, and passion it takes to become a creative jazz performer.  He came alive whenever he could talk about the feelings and messages he experienced either playing, watching, or listening to live jazz.  


CIVIC MUSIC is honored to administer this scholarship and make it part of the High School Competition.