Richard H. (Dick) Weathermon established the Dick and Helen Weathermon Joyful Noise Endowment for Jazz Studies Fund through a gift of $125,000 in October of 2016. The endowment will fund an annual two-day artist-in-residence program, which will bring a renowned jazz artist to campus to perform with the University Jazz Ensemble and a local high school jazz band, lead rehearsals and public master classes and participate in other educational and performance activities.
In addition, Weathermon, who is an alum, gave a $5,000 gift to fund the inaugural PLU Jazz Artist in Residence program in April of 2017 that will feature saxophonist Jeff Coffin.
“This generous gift from a PLU alum affirms the quality of teaching and performance in the jazz area of the music department,” David Deacon-Joyner, director of jazz studies, said. “His gift indicates the importance of this program. As an alum, it shows the pride in jazz at PLU and confirms that it is a vital part of the PLU identity, a part that deserves a sustaining and enhancing resource such as this endowment.”
PLU will now have the resources to bring to campus legendary jazz artists as well as shining new artists in the jazz world, bringing a regional and national focus on PLU’s jazz program. High school jazz performers and their band directors will enjoy master classes, performances, and other enriching musical experiences alongside PLU students. The new series will be a valuable contribution to the community at large.
By Mollie Smith ’17