Pat Dinizio, founder and lead singer of NJ’s pop-rock legends The Smithereens, passed away in 2017. In memory of the beloved singer, a new annual scholarship has been established for promising young musicians. The official announcement was made on October 12 by NJ’s Count Basie Center For The Arts on what would have been the late singer’s birthday.
The Pat Dinizio Musical Performance Scholarship aims to make music education accessible to any young person wishing to enroll in classes at the Count Basie Center for the Arts or any affiliated music program.
“The DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship offers a wonderful way to keep his spirit alive and pass along his passion for music and self-expression to enlighten young musicians for generations to come.” said Smithereens drummer and co-founder Dennis Diken.
According to the Center, the goal is to provide up to two promising music students with full or partial scholarships to the Count Basie Center Academy of the Arts, including programs in its School Of Music or Performing Arts, the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, the Jazz Arts Project, or any other future program that creates a formal partnership with the Basie Center.
Scholarships will be awarded to students ages 18 and under for music/music performance programs offered through Count Basie Center for the Arts and its partner programs.
The timeline for submissions is:
11/16: Deadline for applicants to submit for consideration
11/17-19: Internal review of candidates and selection of semi-finalists
11/20: Present of finalists to Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken of the Smithereens
12/4: Announce recipients
To apply, click here.
The Smithereens have continued to perform shows with several artists taking the lead vocal spot, including Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms.
In other Count Basie Theater related news, the non-profit organization announced the opening of The Vogel, a 20,000 square foot socially-distance indoor theater with a capacity of 150 seats, adjacent to the larger theater venue. Chris Thile, Grace Potter, Jorma Kaukonen are among the acts scheduled to appear.