University of Pittsburgh
November 12, 2010

Pitt Freshman Wins 2010 Pitt-BNY Mellon Jazz Scholarship


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

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PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh freshman Jacob Sacks has been selected the winner of the 2010 Pitt-BNY Mellon Jazz Scholarship. The $5,000 tuition prize is awarded annually to a Pitt music student and is based on submitted tapes of jazz standards that are judged by a panel of nationally recognized jazz musicians. 

Sacks, 18, was recognized Nov. 6 at the 2010 Pitt Jazz Concert. 

A Mt. Lebanon, Pa., resident, Sacks plans to declare a double major at Pitt in bioengineering and music composition. He grew up in a musical household—his mother, Ruth Sacks, has a PhD in music composition—and he began composing at age 8. His works garnered first-, second-, and third-place honors in the statewide PTA Reflections Program competition. He played piano for five years and violin for eight before discovering in high school his love for the guitar. Sacks has taken master classes with guitarists Joe Negri and Ken Karsh and has studied under R. J. Zimmerman, adjunct professor of guitar at Duquesne University. 

This is the 24th year Pitt and BNY Mellon have funded the scholarship. BNY Mellon Jazz supports nonprofit organizations engaged in live performances and jazz education and recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to Pittsburgh’s rich jazz tradition. 




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