Endowment Fund helps jazz department

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Ticket sales from the Faculty Jazz Concert Sunday generated more money for an endowment fund created about seven years ago.

This same fund is used to not only bring in guest artists to Eastern, but it is also used for buying equipment, taking students on trips and anything else the jazz department may need outside of its usual budget.

Ron Gholson requested that one of the sections of a Jazz Ensemble be dedicated to David Frank Tanner, who had recently died at the time, and made a donation to the Jazz Studies Program when the request had been accepted.

Sam Fagaly, director of jazz studies and professor of saxophone at Eastern, said the fund was the created after Gholson donated to the jazz department, starting the “Tanner/Gholson Endowed Fund Celebrating the Goodness of Music.”

Fagaly said the endowment has a certain amount of money and interest is built on that money and deposited to a separate account, called the Jazz Gift Account.

The money put into the Jazz Gift Account are also from donations given by donors along with the funds from the generated interest. Fagaly said there are donors who have given for about 10 to 15 years regularly.

Fagaly said the donated money is used to fund things that are not supported by the normal budget the jazz department will usually operate on.

“If we want to do things like take a jazz group out to perform at high schools for recruiting, participate in a collegiate jazz festival, purchase instruments, bring guest artists and clinicians to campus, or produce a CD, the lion’s share of those things are paid for from gifts and grants,” Fagaly said. “This year, we used some of those funds to provide scholarships to two of our outstanding jazz students.”

The money is used to bring in guest artists and take groups out to perform at high schools, according to Fagaly.

Fagaly said the jazz ensemble and the wind symphony went out to several high schools in the St. Louis area in Illinois back in February.

“We took students out and played for the high schools and that’s good for our students to get out and perform and it’s also good to recruit new students to come to Eastern,” Fagaly said.

The money for the endowment is raised by fundraisers put on each year, though the fundraiser was not put on last year, Fagaly said.

Fagaly said the usual fundraiser would be held in February in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union ballroom. The fundraiser usually consisted of a silent auction, performances, and ticket sales.

“This year, instead of doing that we had the concert Sunday night featuring the jazz faculty here, myself, and the others who teach in the program,” Fagaly said. “We sold tickets where that concert in previous years had been free.”

The tickets funds from the concert Sunday are placed in the endowed fund, making it a larger fund so more money can be generated from the interest rates.

“Whatever the market is earning these days, whether its 2, 3, 4 percent, each year that amount is taken from the investment and put into our account,” Fagaly said. “The good thing about that is that even if nobody ever contributed another dollar, we would always have that original endowment which would, hopefully, unless the economy completely tanks, is earning some interest in investments.”

Fagaly said a majority of the interest funds generated go into the Jazz Gift Account so the jazz department can bring in guests artists and go on trips.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]