Independence Jazz Reunion awards summer music camp scholarships

On behalf of the musicians of Independence Jazz Reunion, director and bandleader Dr. Rick Lundquist is pleased to announce that Victoria Cortes from Dunkirk High School and Jonathon Fridmann from Fredonia High School are recipients of the 15th annual Independence Jazz Reunion summer music camp scholarships.

Reunited after 40 years, this local six-piece ensemble of notable musicians delights audiences with a complete spectrum of the best in jazz entertainment. The members place great value on music education and believe the scholarship fund is one way to help students who have promising talent.

These scholarships help two local high school students attend a summer music camp of their choice. In the band’s home base of Dunkirk/Fredonia, scholarships are awarded annually, and one scholarship is also awarded to a deserving high school student in each town or city where the band performs.

Guidelines are provided to high school music department chairs to assist with selection of award recipients. Selection criteria are that a student: must have completed freshman, sophomore or junior year; must be academically sound; and must have a high level of participation in music programs and activities, both in and out of school.

Victoria Cortes, daughter of Carmen Cortes, is currently a sophomore at Dunkirk High School. She has studied French horn for six years and performs with the DHS concert band and pit orchestra. Victoria was selected by audition for the 2013 junior high all-county band. With this scholarship she attended SUNY Fredonia’s Summer Music Festival Camp. Victoria is interested in pursuing a career in music therapy.

Jon Fridmann, son of Dave and Mary Fridmann, is deeply involved with Fredonia’s local musical community due to his family background and personal interest. While always drawn to music, he was never interested in trombone until Andrew Bennett was hired as band director at Fredonia High School. With lots of hard work, Bennett inspired this student to go beyond basic requirements and pursue further achievement in trombone studies. Jon has participated in Fredonia High School’s jazz ensemble for four years and Chautauqua County Teachers Association all-county band and jazz band. This past summer Jon attended SUNY Fredonia’s Summer Music Festival Camp and Chautauqua Institution’s Jazz Camp. He has not only made music an activity, but also a job when he learned how to repair musical instruments at Crino Music in Dunkirk over the summer.

Independence Jazz Reunion’s summer music camp scholarship endowment fund is held with Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation. Profits from the sale of the band’s recordings are donated to the fund, as well as private contributions from interested individuals. For more information about Independence Jazz Reunion, visit