Sam Scalzo Music Scholarship


MusicLife, in partnership with family and friends, has established the Sam Scalzo Music Scholarship,  to be awarded yearly to a graduating senior residing locally. The purpose of the award is to contribute to the higher education of the young musician and to honor our teacher and friend, who has brought the gift of music into so many lives in our community.

The award will be made based on the student's academic standing, musical proficiency, and the recommendation of a music teacher. The student must be committed to pursuing music in college, and will be asked to submit an essay of 250-500 words explaining how music has impacted his or her life. Applications for the scholarship will be available on the MusicLife website or at the local school's guidance office.

Santo Henrico Scalzo, better known to many as Mr. Sam, is a musician extraordinaire whose participation in the music life of Kent and Queen Anne's counties has made him a part of the rich tapestry of our Community.

Since moving to Kent County in 1996 he has played with innumerable area musicians at various venues throughout the Eastern Shore. He performed for many years with the Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble and the Kent County Marching Band, and participated in various Washington College music ensembles. Sam also taught woodwinds and brass at MusicLife.

As a volunteer, Sam has donated countless teaching hours to music students in Kent and Queen Anne's County schools at both the elementary and high school levels. Sam has played with the KCHS Jazz Band, practiced weekly with the general band students, cheered on the marching band, and tutored elementary students as they learned to play the clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet.  During Rock Hall's annual Fall Fest, Sam is known to stroll the mainfaire like his Italian forefathers, bringing his signature dulcet tones to the the streets like the pied piper of yore.

A first generation American, Sam was born in 1932 in Philadelphia, PA, to parents who emigrated from the Calabria region of Southern Italy. Sam had seven siblings: Ida, Mary, Alvera, Norma, Dolores, Michael, and Rocky.  The Scalzo home was always filled with music, all learning music from a very young age. Sam's first teacher was a neighbor that taught him to play the banjo. In middle school, he learned to play the clarinet, and his father bought him a Buffett clarinet. By the time he graduated from Harding Junior High School he was so proficient that he actually  wrote the music for the graduation ceremony.  At Frankford High School in Philadelphia, Sam was First Clarinet in the orchestra, and played the tuba in the marching band.

While still in high school, Sam and his brothers acquired an agent and started their very own professional band, The Captivating Concords. The Scalzo brothers were known for their unique combination of music and gymnastics. Rocky played bass and Michael played guitar. Sam, always the entertainer, played the saxophone while doing a headstand or sometimes played two saxophones at the same time, always resulting in a standing ovation.

Explaining his long success, Sam says,"In our family, music was just a natural thing to do and it always made us smile!" And it has done the same for all of the lives he has touched in his adopted home of Kent County, and with this scholarship MusicLife hopes to honor our friend and keep on smiling.

For additional information contact Bill Drazga at MusicLife.

MusicLife/Eastern Shore School of Music
241 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620


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Bill Drazga 
Chestertown, MD
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