Student Essay Contest

John Coltrane was committed to learning music. He listened to other musicians; his contemporary saxophonists, as well as those who mastered other instruments. And he practiced…blocks of hours out of a day, every day.

North Carolina Coltrane Scholars

The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival honors that part of the Coltrane legacy with the Student Essay Contest. The contest is for student musicians. It encourages them to learn about Coltrane’s life, but most important, helps them continue studying music by giving winners brand new instruments as prizes.

2015 Student Essay Contest winners on stage with their prize instruments.

The 2015 Student Essay Contest winners on stage with their prize instruments.

Contest Winners are presented with their new instruments on stage during the jazz festival. Winners get the chance to see acclaimed jazz musicians perform. They also get the opportunity to interact with them backstage once the presentations have concluded.

In the written essays, North Carolina middle and high school students from Alamance, Forsyth and Guilford Counties, should explain what music in general, and jazz specifically means to them and how winning an instrument would impact their lives. Prizes are made possible by Bill Banks, Joe Williams, local sponsors and KHS America, an instrument manufacturer.

Student Essay Contest

The deadline to submit entries for this year’s contest is July 15, 2016. Students enrolled in Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth County Schools can submit a 150-250 word essay explaining what music in general, and jazz specifically, means in their lives; which instrument they would like to win and how a new instrument would help them achieve their goals.  Click HERE to download contest entry package.