Month: November 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Stanley Clarke Scholarship Winners!

All photos credit to: Toshi Sakurai

Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke

Congratulations to all five finalists who performed on November 23rd for a large, enthusiastic crowd and several celebrity judges in the Musicians Institute Concert Hall for the prestigious 13th annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship at Musicians Institute!  When the final votes were tallied, the scholarship prize packages (a total of $24,000 in Musicians Institute tuition discounts and cash) were awarded to:

Top prize winners ($9,000 each in tuition discount and cash): Aliyar Kinik and Bianca Richardson

Aliyar Kinik
Aliyar Kinik
Bianca Richardson

Sharing the prizes for the three runner-ups  ($2,000 each in tuition discount and cash): Mateus Asato, Jihye Byun and Andrea Silva Orozco.

Mateus Asato
Mateus Asato
Jihye Byun

Jihye Byun

Andrea Silva Orozco
Andrea Silva Orozco

Each scholarship finalist (all are current MI students) took the stage to perform two songs of their choice, and showed tremendous talent and passion playing a range of styles with each performer consistently impressing the audience and A-list judges alike (who characterized the best group of finalists as one of the best in recent memory).

Two musical geniuses share an aside before the show:

Al Jarreau and Stanley Clarke
Al Jarreau and Stanley Clarke

Celebrity judges for the evening included music legends: Al Jarreau, Frank Gamble, Paul Jackson Jr., Alphonse Mouzon, Bunny Brunel, Sunnie Paxon, Armand Sabel Lecco, Kennard Ramsey, Byron Miller, David Campbell, Raven Kane, Karl Vincent, and Rich Buccanon.

The Judges
The Judges tally the votes

The audience was also treated to a great short performance by some music heavyweights:

Stanley Clarke
Paul Jackson Jr. and Frank Gambale
Paul Jackson Jr. and Frank Gambale
Sunnie Paxson
Sunnie Paxson
Alphonse Mouzon with Stanley
Alphonse Mouzon and Stanley Clarke
The band showed us all "how it's done"!
The band showed us all “how it’s done”!

It was time to call the winners to the stage:

Beth Marlis
Beth Marlis (MI & The MF) , event producer
Judges and finalists celebrate
Judges and finalists celebrate (Brunel, Ramsey, Paxon, Asato, Marlis, Clarke, Kinik, Silva Orozco, Byun, Richardson, Mouzon, Jackson Jr, Gambale, Miller)
Stanley Clarke, Bianca Richardson, Bunny Brunel Frank Gambale
Stanley Clarke, Bianca Richardson, Bunny Brunel, Frank Gambale
Stanley Clarke and Aliyar Kinik
Stanley Clarke and Aliyar Kinik

On behalf of Stanley Clarke and his wife Sofia (and their continued generous support for this scholarship and music education); everyone at Musicians Institute wants to congratulate the five finalists on their exceptional performances and to thank all of the families, friends and bandmates for their invaluable support.


To make a tax-deductible contribution to support the Stanley Clarke Scholarship Foundation please visit



To make a tax-deductible contribution to support student scholarships at Musicians Institute please visit our non-profit:




Khadejhia K with Bangles Guitarist Vicki Peterson

Khadejhia Kassenbrock with Bangles Guitarist Vicki Peterson 

Oakland, CA native, Khadejhia Kassenbrock is the talented winner of the third Annual Daisy Rock Bangles/Vicki Peterson Scholarship at Musicians Institute. With 13 years of guitar playing experience, she specializes in rock and pop styles and comes to the MI Guitar Program with the commitment to be the best at what she does.

Khadejhia states that while at MI, “I hope to improve on my guitar playing and learn everything I need to become a successful musician.

When asked why she chose to study at MI she adds, “I chose MI because they place so much emphasis on career development and staying relevant in the industry, and because they focus on teaching all kinds of music rather than limiting you to classical or jazz.

She describes her future goals as: “I just want to make a living as a musician. Whether that’s through studio work, touring with a solo artist, or touring with my own band, I’m pretty much open to all opportunities.”

The Daisy Rock Scholarship is awarded to a newly enrolling female guitar student at MI who demonstrates outstanding musicianship, band performance skills and originality in the Rock/Pop genre.  The award is named in honor of Vicki Peterson, who has been the guitarist for the groundbreaking multi-platinum, all female band The Bangles since their inception in 1981.

Everyone at MI welcomes Khadejhia to the fall class of the Guitar Program (GIT), and congratulates her on winning this very prestigious award!

Special thanks to our industry partner Daisy Rock Girl Guitars for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented female students like Khadejhia with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.  To learn more about Daisy Rock Guitars and products click here:




Courtney Meloche with Rachel Yoon (Bachelor's Program Dean)

Courtney Meloche with Rachel Yoon (Bachelor’s Program Dean)

Ontario, Canada native Courtney Meloche is the winner of the second annual Gilt City LA Scholarship at Musicians Institute.  The newly enrolling Bachelor’s Degree in Performance Program student comes to MI having performed music during the last twelve years (in the folk-rock, pop, country, acoustic singer-songwriter and rock genres) and has been writing music since she was a young child.

Upon learning about her award, Courtney explains that she chose to study at MI because “the opportunities present there are not available to me by staying in small town Canada.  Everything about the school feels like the perfect fit to me, and I am so excited about studying at MI!”

While at MI she plans to “work on improving my stage presence and live performance skills, learn more about my voice and how to use it to its full extent, and get more insight into the music industry and how it works.” After MI,  Courtney’s career aspirations are to “get to a point where I am performing full time and making enough money from it to be financially stable.  I want to tour a lot and see different corners of the world.  I don’t necessarily aspire to be famous, but more than anything, I want to make music that resonates with people and makes them smile.”

Everyone at MI congratulates Courtney on this achievement, which marks a great beginning to her studies. We look forward to seeing her reach her full potential while at MI.

Special thanks to our industry partner, Gilt City LA for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Courtney with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

To learn more about the great products, experiences, and unique opportunities available thru Gilt City LA click here  





Monica Wickland with Vocal Program Chair, Debra Byrd

Monica Wickland with Vocal Program Chair, Debra Byrd

The fourth annual Sennheiser Vocal Scholarship at Musicians Institute has been awarded to Monica Wicklund. Monica hails from the Chicago, IL area and is entering the Associate of Arts in Performance (Vocal) Program at MI with a passion for pop as well as rock styles, and in possession of strong musicianship skills.

While attending Musicians Institute, Monica will focus on expanding her knowledge of “how to define myself as an artist, and market myself in order to build a long and sustaining career in the music industry.”  She chose to attend MI because ”what really sold me on MI were the LPWs. I love the idea that 4 or 5 musicians who may have never even met, can get up on a stage and put on a legitimate performance! It’s amazing!”

Monica describes her future goals and aspirations as follows: “I’m a very ambitious person. My career goals aren’t limited to just one level of success. Success to me is being happy doing what I love. I want to make an impact with my music, and I want to be remembered. I still have a long way to go, to grow as a an artist and learn about this business.  But, I do know that I will never limit myself as a musician and I want to always be able to grow and learn!”

Everyone at MI congratulates Monica on winning this prestigious award that supports the education and growth of a talented, evolving, and very deserving vocalist!

The scholarship is generously sponsored by MI scholarship partner, Sennheiser USA as a part of its sustaining commitment to support music education. 

To learn more about the full range of exciting Sennheiser products, artists and news click here