Dear Eddie and Peggy,
Thank you for your continued support for the Cape Henlopen High School Music Department. As you know, I’ve served as the band director at Cape for the last four years. I’ve watched the True Blue Jazz organization inspire, encourage and support my students throughout that time. The opportunities and experiences provided by True Blue Jazz have stimulated a life-long love for jazz in the students at Cape and encouraged them to seek personal artistic growth through music.
True Blue provides phenomenal opportunities to Cape students. One of the highlights of my time at Cape was when you took the students backstage to meet Jimmy Heath and provided them with comped tickets to hear his big band. The students still talk about this once in a lifetime experience and cite it as motivation for their own practice and development as musicians. You’ve brought many professional performers directly into our jazz band rehearsals where they’ve taught and encouraged the students. When Vuyo Sotashe visited and sung for the band, I watched our band’s singer become transfixed. She is now a freshman music major and singing with her college big band while pursuing a career in the arts. Those experiences alone make True Blue an essential organization for our students and community. The fact that you provide scholarships enabling students to go on and study music in addition to encouraging those students demonstrates the exceptional commitment you both have to furthering young people through this amazing art form.
Thank you for everything you do for the students of Cape Henlopen High School and our community as a whole. The Cape Region is a better, more vibrant place because of True Blue Jazz. The organization and the two of you are a local treasure.
Cape Henlopen High School
Dear True Blue Jazz Sponsor-
I am a 2008 graduate of Cape Henlopen High School. I started play jazz around age 13. A couple of years later I met Peggy Raley and Eddie Sherman. As a young saxophonist, they were very supportive of my schooling and performing. I was sitting in with their groups on a fairly regular basis, and they always encouraged me to perform. I met so many great musicians through their series, the True Blue Jazz Series. After high school I attended Shenandoah Conservatory of Music for Jazz Studies. I continued to perform with Peggy and Eddie when I was home and they were always interested to hear what I was doing with my studies. After graduating from college, I once again was working with the duo. After six months of working locally I auditioned and won a full time job touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing tenor saxophone.
Without Peggy, Eddie, and the True Blue Jazz Series I would have had very few outlets to perform in Delaware. I have always felt that they showed me the way to be a professional musician. I am always excited to see the line up for the series and wish I could attend but, Iʼm on the road doing something that I could not have done without the True Blue Jazz. Their Youth Jazz Initiative has grown to now include scholarships and workshops. Your support is really important and will ensure that they can continue to provide education, assistance and encouragement to other young music students in Sussex County.
Cody Leavel – 1st Tenor Saxophone, Glenn Miller Orchestra
To Whom It May Concern:
Rehoboth Concert Band supports all our musical organizations here in Sussex County and on Delmarva but would like to especially commend True Blue Jazz for its exceptional work in keeping jazz alive in our Sussex County communities and for its ongoing educational programs with our youth. Their jazz series, produced annually, provides the community with a number of top-notch concerts by professional jazz musicians at an affordable ticket fee for both youth and seniors.
True Blue Jazz is successful at bringing musicians to the area who are performing music from the American Standards songbook; masters such as George and Ira Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Fields, Peggy Lee, Cole Porter and many other masters. Audiences seem to crave this genre of music, and True Blue Jazz is unique in ensuring that the music will live on. Young people who may have never heard or played traditional jazz on their instruments themselves are especially excited about this category of jazz music.
I want to thank True Blue Jazz for their additional work with the youth in our school music programs— making available youth scholarships, providing visiting professional musicians in the band room, and providing a live stage for these young performers.
We in Sussex County are fortunate to have a music organization that helps empower our young musicians plus entertains our residents and visitors with some of the most popular and influential music of the 20th century. Music keeps our communities together through a common language, and we all appreciate True Blue Jazz for its good work.
Kay Creech, Executive Director Rehoboth Concert Band
Dear True Blue Jazz,
My dream attending a College of Fine Arts is moving forward, thanks to the generous support of your True Blue Jazz Scholarship. I am very proud to have been selected. And, I am further committed to my continued education and experiences in a music career. It is truly my passion.
I also want to express my gratitude for the opportunities that Peggy gave me to play at Nassau Valley Vineyards for her Farm Market, and for allowing me to be part of your 2016 True Blue Jazz Youth Appreciation Night that you held at Bethany Blues. Through each of these appearances, I received additional bookings.
Once again thank you so much for the vote of confidence, belief and support in me by honoring me with a Scholarship that will enhance my future opportunities.
True Blue Jazz Sponsors,
Greetings! My name is Morgan Hurlock and I am this years’ recipient of the True Blue Jazz Scholarship. I would like to take this time to express my gratitude for your support of this organization. True Blue Jazz has helped me in more ways than I can count. I have been playing the saxophone for the past eight years. I was first introduced to jazz music in the eighth grade when my music teacher showed me the recording of Maynard Ferguson’s “Gospel John” (go check it out, it’s insanely good!) and informed me that I would be playing the sax solo. That’s when I first fell in love with jazz music. As a recent graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, I have been able to play the music I love in the community for four wonderful years. This fall, I will be attending the University of Delaware to study music education in the honors program with the hopes of becoming a successful professional musician and teacher. Thanks to your generosity, this scholarship will help make my dream a reality.
For the past three years, I’ve had the pleasure on stage at the True Blue Jazz Festival. This festival is unlike any other in the region because it features both nationally acclaimed artists and aspiring young musicians. This year, Eddie Sherman and Peggy Raley are bringing in Jazz Hall of Fame Living Legend inductee, Jimmy Heath, and his big band. He has played with some of the greatest names in jazz, including John Coltrane (yes, THE John Coltrane), Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, and Clifford Brown, just to name a few. Thanks to True Blue Jazz, the whole community will have the opportunity to hear one of the greatest saxophonists and jazz composers alive.
Personally, this organization has done a lot for me throughout my high school career. They make featuring and supporting young musicians their number one priority. They have had our high school jazz ensemble and jazz combo perform on the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand since the founding of their organization. They have also sent professional musicians to our school to conduct master classes and perform for us. True Blue Jazz has allowed me to become a more confident saxophonist and never ceases to present me with performing opportunities. Just a few weeks ago, at a local Eddie Sherman concert, Peggy spotted me from the audience and called me onstage to introduce me and as me to perform. But their work doesn’t stop in high school. They have already asked me to return from college for the weekend of the festival in October to be a part of the event.
I can assure you that placing your support in True Blue Jazz has done endless good for young musicians like myself. This organization has helped shape me into the saxophonist I am today. Thank you again for everything!