RED BANK, NJ: The Count Basie Center for the Arts has announced details for the 2021 Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship.
DiNizio, who would have turned 65 today, was the Smithereens’ lead singer who passed away in December 2017.
Students may apply by completing an online form and submitting an audition video by clicking HERE.
Deadline for submissions is Nov. 16 and finalists will be announced Dec. 4, 2020.
Winners of the scholarship will have a choice from any of the Count Basie’s musical performance program that classes at the Basie Center Academy of the Arts, its Schools of Music and Performing Arts, or any onsite partner.
“All of us in The Smithereens began our lifelong love affairs with music at a tender age,” said Dennis Diken, founding member and drummer of The Smithereens.
“It’s gratifying to know that the annual Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship at the Count Basie Center for the Arts is helping to foster creativity in young people at a time in their lives when they can look forward to following their muse with their whole lives ahead of them.”
Tragically, the Smithereens had just announced plans for a Basie Center performance when DiNizio passed. According to reports by his bandmates, his health declined following a series of problems that began in 2015 after a pair of falls which resulted in nerve damage that limited the use of his right hand and arm
The concert instead became a tribute to DiNizio, featuring Smithereens bandmates Babjak, Diken and Mike Mesaros, fronted by an array of vocalists including Marshall Crenshaw, Ted Leo, Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson, Scandal’s Patty Smyth, Freedy Johnston, Richard Barone, Severo Jornacion and others. The evening ended with an all-star performance of The Smithereens’ classic “A Girl Like You,” led by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt.
During the live webcast of that concert, a portion of the sales helped create the scholarship fund.