MEMPHIS, TN (CelebrityAccess) — To mark the 20th anniversary of Stax Music Academy, Concord announced the Concord Stax Scholarships, which will provide full tuition to 20 students a year over the next 5 years.
As part of the program, Concord has pledged a minimum of $1 million through donations from its owners, team members, friends, and partners to support music and life skills advancement of the 100 students selected for the scholarship program.
Each scholarship will be presented in the name of a notable Stax recording artist or executive including Stax Records founder Jim Stewart, former Stax Records owner Al Bell, as well as artists such as Stax house band Booker T. and the MG’s, former Stax Records performing artist and Director of Publicity Deanie Parker, The Bar-Kays, Otis Redding and William Bell.
Operated by the Soulsville Foundation, the Stax Music Academy assists young people from underserved communities in the greater Memphis area with a focus on music education and creative youth programming. Since its founding in 2000, SMA has coached more than 4,000 students in music theory, composition, storytelling through music and the basics of the music business to help prepare young people for a career in the creative industries.
In the last 12 years, SMA graduates have a 100% college acceptance rate and 67% of the SMA class of 2020 earned college music scholarships.
“It’s been 60 years since Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart named their fledgling music company Stax Records. The Soulsville Foundation was inspired to create the Stax Music Academy some 40 years later. Now, during its 20th anniversary year, the Stax Music Academy can proudly say that its students enjoy a 100% college acceptance rate with more than two-thirds of those earning scholarships, underscoring that the legacy of Stax goes well beyond the music and its extraordinary artists. The Stax Music Academy gives its students a unique grounding in the Stax musical heritage while supporting their development as the next generation of leaders in the music industry. Concord is proud to invest in the future of these young people, ensuring that the cultural ideals of the original Stax remain a beacon in the global music business and the Memphis community where it all began.”
Concord acquired the post-1968 Stax catalogue and selected pre-1968 recordings and the brand in 2003 after acquiring Fantasy Records, which in turn acquired Stax’s assets in 1977.