Posted on Monday, October 5, 2015
Westminster College was gifted $25,000 from an anonymous donor, expanding opportunities in the School of Music and enabling young and aspiring musicians to follow their dreams. The gift was given in honor of Kevin M. McManus, adjunct faculty in Westminster’s School of Music.
"My wife and I were delighted in the music program offered at Westminster College and especially the efforts of Kevin McManus, who directed the Westminster College jazz ensemble for a number of years,” said the donor. “As a performer himself, Mr. McManus caused the Jazz Ensemble to display excellence in jazz musicianship and deliver performances that were exceptional for college musicians.”
The Kevin M. McManus Excellence in Jazz Award and Scholarship will assist in recruiting and retaining talented students and elevating the level of the Westminster Jazz Ensemble performances.
“Our student was a jazz ensemble member and a direct beneficiary of this enriching experience,” continued the donor. “In recognition of Mr. McManus, we wanted to create a named endowed scholarship in honor of him. Our hope is that this Scholarship helps elevate the level of the Jazz Ensemble performance at Westminster College and also enables Mr. McManus’s outstanding work to be recognized in perpetuity.”
McManus received a Bachelor of Science in music education from Penn State University, a graduate performer’s certificate from SUNY Purchase Conservatory, and a Master of Music from Carnegie Mellon University. McManus has performed on Broadway in New York City and completed two First National Tours of the shows Urinetown: The Musical and Little Women: The Broadway Musical. In the summer of 2009, McManus was a featured soloist in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s production of Swing!
As the first McManus scholarship recipient, Jeanne Barbour, a sophomore music education major and trombonist, shares her thankfulness for the award, which brought her dreams and aspirations closer to reality. By easing some of the financial worry associated with furthering her education, Barbour shared that this gift awarded her the ability to attend Westminster and gain invaluable experiences of playing trombone in a multitude of different ensembles.
“Looking back at my high school self, and comparing her to the player and person I am today, I can see the notable difference Westminster’s music program has made in all aspects of my life,” said Barbour. “I could not imagine myself anywhere else, or in any other program. The music program is home for me, and I'm incredibly grateful to have been given this award which has helped turn my dream of being in this music program a reality.”
Visit www.westminster.edu/music for more information about the Westminster’s School of Music, and visit McManus’ faculty profile page to learn more about McManus.