The Calusa Musicale will host a scholarship benefit concert featuring an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy nominated flutist from North Fort Myers on April 18 to highlight students who won a music scholarship.
The Calusa Musicale, a member organization of the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, was organized in 1977 to help aid and advance the musical education and the allied arts of elementary to college students, along with promoting American musicians.
In 1980, the organization began its scholarship program with the Edison Community College Endowment Corporation. Since the first donation of $100 was made, the annual awards have grown substantially to a total of $30,000 over the last 30 years for high school and middle school students in piano, strings, voice and winds.
Calusa Musicale membership chairman Louise Slasor said the Calusa Musicale is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to deserving students who want music in their future.
The Scholarship Benefit Concert is held every year, Slasor said, because it provides the organization with the ability to announce to the public who the scholarship winners are.
Calusa Musicale President David Jozaities said scholarships of up to $1,700 will be presented to six students this year at the event. He said the students were chosen through an audition process.
What: Calusa Musicale's Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring Kat Eppel and Chuck Grinnell
When: Sunday, April 18, 3 p.m.
Where: First Presbyterian Church, Fort Myers
Cost: A donation
The special guests this year are North Fort Myers resident Kat Epple and Chuck Grinnell.
"It is my honor and privilege to announce that Kat Epple and Chuck Grinnell will be performing at this year's concert," he said. "Kat is an amazing local flutist that has won a couple of Emmy Awards and nominated for several Grammys. Chuck is a very creative pianist that has performed all over the world."
Epple moved from San Francisco to North Fort Myers in 1989 after she was signed with a new record company. She said she wanted to move to a more peaceful environment to compose her music.
"I grew to love Southwest Florida, so 20 years later I am still here," she said.
Epple said she was inspired as a young child to become a musician.
"As a child, I always loved the sound of the flute," she said. "I learned to play the flute, then started to collect and play flutes from other cultures."
She later became a composer and a sound engineer. She also recorded music for her own albums and became a composer of music for television and film scores.
Jozaities said in addition to Epple and Grinnell, the program will have last year's scholarship winners performing, which he said promises will be their best concert yet.
"I appreciate the work Calusa Musicale does to support and encourage young musicians in Southwest Florida,' Epple said. "I am happy to be a part of the event."
The free concert will be held on Sunday, April 18, at 3 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Myers. Donations will be accepted during the event.