Hitmaker Kal Rudman Continues Launching Musical Careers

Philadelphia philanthropist's scholarship donations to University of the Arts Summer Institute open doors for top high school musicians to pursue their music, launch careers

July 22, 2010

Philadelphia philanthropist Kal Rudman, founder of the pioneering music industry magazine Friday Morning Quarterback (FMQB), has always had an ear for what makes a hit. He is credited with discovering Hall and Oates' "She's Gone," Kenny Rogers' "Lucille" and Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive," among many others.

More than 40 years after launching FMQB from his New Jersey basement, Rudman and his wife Lucille continue to open doors for yet-to-be discovered musicians by making it possible for some of the nation's top high school artists to attend the Summer Jazz Institute at the University of the Arts.

As has been the case for the previous 14 years, the Rudmans recently agreed to contribute $25,000 to make it possible for dozens of top young jazz musicians from across the country to attend the elite two-week residential program. Rudman has a special interest in supporting the continuum of music education from pre-college through undergraduate studies. To that end, part of this contribution will provide scholarship support for Pre-College Summer Jazz Institute graduates who matriculate at the University. Each year a number of Summer Jazz Institute students enroll in and eventually graduate from the University of the Arts, many of whom subsequently go on to highly successful careers in the jazz world.

At the Jazz Institute, scholarship students refine their craft under the tutelage of top professional musicians. Students work one-on-one with University faculty members – themselves practicing instrumentalists and vocalists who perform across the country – to improve their technique, learn new skills and gain experience playing for an audience.

"Kal and Lucille Rudman have been wonderful friends of the Summer Jazz Institute for such a long time," said Marc Dicciani, director of the University's School of Music. "Their gifts are game-changers for a number of our students who might not otherwise have been able to attend the institute, where they are exposed to a dynamic environment that helps them begin to find their way in the world as artists, thinkers, creators and performers."

On the last day of the Jazz Institute, students perform in a number of ensembles – including a Big Band and a number of smaller ensembles – in a grand finale concert for their families and friends.

Above: Kal Rudman (left) and School of Music Director Marc Dicciani are seen here at the 2009 Summer Jazz Institute's finale concert. Photo by Dave Jackson.

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