CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess) — The BMI Foundation, in partnership with the Curtis Mayfield Foundation and Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) announced that ChiArts senior Sedrick McKinney has been selected as the winner of the first Curtis Mayfield Scholarship.
McKinney was presented with the $3,000 award by Altheida Mayfield, the widow of Curtis Mayfield and Deirdre Chadwick, President of the BMI Foundation during a special event at the school.
McKinney, an 18-year-old guitarist graduating from ChiArts this May, hopes to one day become a professional musician. He is currently studying under primary classical guitar teachers James Konsbruck and Thomas Clippert and hopes to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study music. While still a student, he has already penned two solo acoustic guitar compositions: “Away From Home” and “Happy Acceptance.”
“As ChiArts’ first recipient of the Curtis Mayfield Scholarship, I am thrilled to be able to carry on Mr. Mayfield’s legacy of musical excellence,” said McKinney. “With this support, attending a strong collegiate music program has become a reality, and I’m looking forward to becoming a professional musician and making my family and supporters proud.”
The scholarship program was launched last fall to commemorate the late Curtis Mayfield’s connection with the Chicago community. The Curtis Mayfield Scholarship will be presented annually to a graduating senior at ChiArts, a 4-year fine artists school aimed at artistically inclined students in the Chicago area. After its launch this year, organizers of the scholarship plan to expand the program to other cities were Mayfield lived in the later parts of his life, including Atlanta.
Mayfield, a Chicago native, performed with the Impressions and then as a solo artist until a tragic stage accident in 1990 left him paralyzed.
His hits include “People Get Ready” (with the Impressions), “Superfly” (from the soundtrack of the iconic Blaxploitation film of the same name) “It’s All Right”, “People Get Ready,” and “Move On Up.”