Live Nation, Music Forward Foundation Announce Recipients Of Scholarships Totaling $50K

Live Nation and its nonprofit partner, Music Forward Foundation, recently announced this year’s recipients of scholarships given to college students pursuing careers in the music industry. The two teamed up to award a total of $50,000 in scholarships to Asad Whitehead, Jade Proctor, Logyn Rylander, Hugo Obori, Sayada Aklima Jannat and Bailey Frerichs, who were recognized for their academic performance, leadership skills and commitment to live entertainment.

“We are proud to grant these scholarships to this group of aspiring young professionals looking to carve out a path for themselves within the live entertainment industry,” Jordan Zachary, Live Nation co-president of U.S. concerts, said in a statement.

Omar Al-joulani, Live Nation co-president of U.S. concerts, added, “Through impactful programs like the Music Forward Scholarship, we continue our commitment to investing in and empowering the next generation of leaders in our industry.”

Whitehead received the Live Nation Scholarship of $10,000 given to students pursuing careers in Live Nation’s core areas of business: concert promotion, venue operation, sponsorship, ticketing and artist management. He is a music industry major at Monmouth University and aspires to create his own live entertainment brand tailored to young people of color. He also works as a radio talk show host, music production intern, event entertainment intern and studio manager while pursuing his degree.

“Winning the Live Nation Scholarship means everything to me,” said Whitehead. “It represents a transformative milestone in my musical journey that will open doors to new opportunities and shape my future in the music industry. To me, this scholarship is not just a financial award, but instead a recognition of my dedication, talent, and potential as an aspiring professional. It serves as validation of the countless hours I have poured into honing my craft, refining my skills and pursuing my passion.”

Proctor, a theatre technology major at Dillard University, earned the $10,000 Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship, which was established by Live Nation to support young women looking to break into the live entertainment business. The 20-year-older rising junior has maintained a grade-point average of 4.0 while working on various theatrical productions.

“Receiving this scholarship is an immense blessing to me that I cannot thank Music Forward enough,” Proctor said. “After years with family and financial issues, this is a rare light in the darkness that keeps me motivated to continue pursuing what’s best for me. I’ll be able to focus even more on completing my degree and preparing for future education.”

Rylander, a 21-year-old senior majoring in commercial music at Tennessee State University, received the $10,000 Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship, an honor given to students passionate about improving live music for fans and artists. She is a longtime saxophone player who aspires to build a vibrant music scene in her hometown of Philadelphia, creating more opportunities for local artists and businesses. Rylan also wants to assist artists and their teams in planning, creating and facilitating brand partnerships.

“Receiving this scholarship means absolutely everything to me. While being a full-time college student, I’m a restaurant host, a radio host, a saxophonist and bassoonist, an award show volunteer, and so much more,” Rylander said. “I’ve made it my mission to learn everything I can to reach my career dreams. This award says, ‘We see you. We see your work, and we want to invest in you.’ Receiving that encouragement from those who are where I want to be is a blessing.”

Obori was awarded the $10,000 Governors Ball Scholarship given to students who are pursuing a job in live entertainment and living in New York City. He is a music business major at New York University who wants to work in festivals to help artists connect with their fans. Obori, who is fluent in four languages, exhibits a passion for large-scale operations and wants to make a difference in the industry and American culture by promoting Asian representation.

“It is amazing to see that I have gotten the support of such great entities such as the Music Forward Foundation, Gov. Ball and Live Nation with this scholarship. They believe in me and my dreams,” said Obori. “It shows me that I am on the right path and motivates me to keep working hard to achieve those dreams.”

As a music performance and music business major at Winona State University, Jannat aspires to create music that fosters community and empowers individuals. She is a vocalist who believes that music can unite communities, earning her the $5,000 Affinity Plus Scholarship.

“This scholarship means the world to me and makes a significant impact on my academic and personal goals.” Jannat. “This scholarship not only provides me with financial aid but also serves as an inspiration and motivation to continue working hard toward my goals. It gives me a sense of responsibility to use my education to make a positive impact in my community and beyond. I will make sure to use this opportunity to its fullest and make the most out of it.”

Frerichs, who majors in music industry major and dance and marketing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, also received the Affinity Plus Scholarship and wants to gain experience in all sectors of the live industry to support venues.

“Receiving the Affinity Plus Scholarship means more to me than I can truly give justice to with my words alone,” Frerichs said. “Finding out I was the 2023 recipient of this scholarship showed me that the hard work and sacrifices I have made to start building credibility and a name for myself in the music industry are not happening without appreciation and notice from those around me. I truly would be nowhere without the financial support and opportunities like this that have been graciously gifted to me.”

The students were selected by a panel of executives and leaders across entertainment, civic and corporate businesses and reviewed by companies such as Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Fundamental Music, BMG and Concord. “College costs keep rising, so it’s vital that we provide financial support to our students, empowering them to transform their passions for music into lifelong careers,” Nurit Siegel Smith, executive director of the Music Forward Foundation, said. “We are thrilled to continue to join forces with our partners to sustain educational endeavors, ignite career aspirations, and propel our 2023 scholarship recipients towards successful futures.”