The Vermont Jazz Center’s Big Band will present its Annual Scholarship Gala on Saturday, December 7th at 8:00 PM. This year’s celebration will honor Nat King Cole’s 100th birthday-anniversary. The VJC Big Band, under the leadership of musical director Rob Freeberg, is a community orchestra made up of professional musicians who come together once a year to raise money for the VJC’s Scholarship Fund. This event is the primary funding source that helps aid scholarship students attending VJC’s educational programs. In 2019 the VJC offered $30,000 in scholarships to help students attend ensembles, private lessons and their annual summer jazz workshop.
This year’s gala will feature the arrangements of songs made famous by Nat “King” Cole, who was recognized as “one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century” by National Public Radio. The Grammy Hall of Famer was a superstar of his time: he recorded over 150 Billboard singles and sold over 50 millions records. Cole knew he was destined for a life of music – he dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to tour as pianist in his brother Eddie’s trio and he never looked back.