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Music scholarship fund started in memory of Haven Walker

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Haven Walker

Haven Walker

Flagstaff high school students will have the chance to apply for a new music scholarship this month. Started by Bob and Pina Miller in memory of their son, the Haven Walker Music Scholarship Fund is meant to help local instrumental musicians afford lessons.

Haven Walker was a musician in the Flagstaff community, playing guitar and sarod in a number of bands before his death in February of 2020. Pina Miller said the scholarship was established as a way to honor Walker and his love of music. 

“We thought this would be a great way to pay tribute and honor the memory of our son by helping the community with this scholarship,” she said.

In partnership with the Flagstaff Music Festival, a nonprofit, the Millers will be offering five $1,000 scholarships to local high school students to encourage their passion for music. They say the scholarships will be awarded based on talent, financial need and “a demonstrated commitment to music.”

Bob Miller described potential recipients as “talented Flagstaff high school students who are in financial need and could not afford to pay for lessons.”

At least half of the funds for each scholarship will be put toward music lessons for instrumental musicians. Vocal musicians will not be eligible for this year’s scholarships, but students who go to charters or are home schooled are also encouraged to apply.

The Millers have been “working on this intensely since June,” and said they were excited to be able to offer the scholarship finally. Applications will be open Jan. 15-26. After being reviewed by an advisory board of local musicians and music teachers, the five recipients will be announced in late March.

“The idea is that each scholarship recipient will have a mentor who will work with that student and come up with a good plan to maximize the use of the $1,000,” Bob Miller said. “[The scholarship] for financially needy talented musicians of any instrument at all -- doesn’t matter whether it’s classical, jazz, rock 'n' roll or bluegrass.”

The Millers hope to have each of the scholarship recipients play at the award ceremony in the spring. They also plan to grow the fund over time, adding additional and larger scholarships.

Pina Miller said they had supported Walker in his music education since he was the age of 13, making sure he had access to instruments and music lessons. Walker made two pilgrimages to India to study the sarod under Ali Akbar Kahn, she said, and performed with artists such as David Lindley.

“He got into quite a few different rock 'n' roll bands,” Bob Miller said. “Huck Freely, Eaten by Ants -- they had very funny names.”

A release announcing the scholarship called Walker “an amazing musician, son, father and friend to all.”

“He was a staple for 20 years in the Flagstaff music scene, playing guitar, sarod and crossing many music genres,” it said. “His untimely passing has us mourning still, but his legacy will continue through this new scholarship fund.”

More information, including application instructions, can be found at flagstaffmusicfestival.com/#apply.

The Recording Academy is likely to postpone the 64th annual Grammy Awards, originally set for Jan. 31 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, to a later date due to the omicron variant, according to multiple sources. A source with direct knowledge says it’s “looking likely.”

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