Gretsch Foundation Announces Ernie Gadzos Music Scholarship

Drummer’s Memory Lives on Through Georgia Southern Scholarship

Georgia Southern’s percussion faculty member, Dr. Matt Fallin (seated), Dinah and Fred Gretsch and a Georgia Southern percussion student (standing).

Savannah, GA – When Savannah’s legendary drummer, Ernie Gadzos, passed away in June 2005, Fred Gretsch sought a way to honor his dear friend and longtime Gretsch Music Company employee. At Georgia Southern University he found an inspiring method of keeping Ernie’s memory alive. He created the Ernie Gadzos Scholarship in Music with funding from the Gretsch Foundation.

“To honor Mr. Gadzos, Fred and Dinah Gretsch have given a generous contribution to endow a scholarship for a music student studying percussion at Georgia Southern,” said William I. Griffis, president of the Georgia Southern Foundation. “His gift of $50,000 will be held in perpetuity, with annual interest being used to award a scholarship each year to a deserving music student.”

“This gift will allow a student with musical promise to study with Georgia Southern’s top-notch percussion instructors and be part of several nationally-recognized instrumental ensembles,” said Allen Henderson, chair of the music department. “The Music Department Scholarship Committee will select the recipient based on audition results and academic qualifications, and the scholarship will be renewable for four years.”

Ernie Gadzos began playing drums at the age of 18, traveling for 30 years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, and other big bands. He worked for several drum shops in Chicago and then in 1986, he and his wife moved to Savannah to join the Gretsch Music Company. He spent the last 20 years helping drummers and dealers from around the world find the right performance and recording drums for their specific needs.

Those interested in adding their contribution to the Ernie Gadzos Scholarship in Music may contact Allen Henderson, chair of the Georgia Southern Department of Music, at 912-681-0144. To learn more about this and other Georgia Southern scholarships, contact the University’s Financial Aid Office at 912-681-5413 or visit the web site at http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/finaid/. Georgia Southern’s media contact is Loretta Brandon, 912-681-0336.

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