Two Winners Announced for 2019 Curtis Mayfield Scholarships

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WINNER JORDAN DAVIS, a ChiArts senior, and Cheaa Mayfield, the son of Curtis Mayfield, pose for a photo after the awards ceremony.

The BMI Foundation, in partnership with the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) and Tri-Cities High School in Atlanta, has announced ChiArts senior Jordan Davis and Tri-Cities High senior Cameron Weaks as the winners of the 2019 Curtis Mayfield Scholarships. Both students were presented with a $3,000 award by Cheaa Mayfield, the son of Curtis Mayfield, and representatives of the BMI Foundation recently in Chicago and also in Atlanta during graduation-related events.

Mrs. Altheida Mayfield describes her late husband as a caring man of great depth who took pride in helping young people achieve their musical dreams. Upon the announcement of the scholarship’s expansion to Atlanta last fall, she shared her hope that this gesture would be a way for the Curtis Mayfield legacy to remain connected with his Chicago roots and bring renewed awareness of his connection and musical influence to the Georgia capital.

The Curtis Mayfield Scholarship is presented annually to exemplary graduating seniors at both ChiArts in Chicago and Tri-Cities High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Both institutions are four-year public high schools with dedicated programs and curriculum for artistically gifted students. The scholarship program honors the memory of the iconic Chicago-born songwriter, musician and producer whose prolific career and legacy includes such hits as “Superfly,” “People Get Ready,” “Move On Up,” “Do Do Wap is Strong in Here,” and “It’s All Right,” as well as the numerous soundtracks he created for film. Recipients are chosen based on need and musical merit, and preference is given to students going on to pursue college majors in performance, composition and songwriting.

BMI Foundation Trustee Clay Bradley, winner Cameron Weaks, and Cheaa Mayfield after Weaks was presented with his check.

Cameron Weaks stated, “I am beyond thankful and honored to receive this Curtis Mayfield Scholarship award. Curtis Mayfield reminds me a lot of myself being that he was a musician at a young age. One of his popular songs, “Move On Up,” includes words to live by as a student musician, “Move on up towards your destination.” Tri-Cities Principal Termerion McCrary-Lakes offered, “It’s partnerships like this that allow us to debut our alumni in aspects that give back and support our students to become successful in their artistic endeavors. We are so elated.”

Jordan Davis added, “I am honored to be awarded this scholarship in honor of one of my favorite artists. This scholarship shows me that I am going in the right direction by continuing to be a performer, and no matter what I shall continue to love and create music.”

Jordan Davis Raised on Chicago’s near Southwest Side. Jordan began singing in the Angels Choir at the Sunrise Baptist Church at age 4. As a freshman at the Chicago High School for the Arts, Jordan was awarded a Superior Medal at the Chicago Public Schools Arts Festival, and has been a four-year participant in the Illinois High School Association music festival. Jordan was also selected to participate in the 2018-2019 Lyric Unlimited Program through Lyric Opera, and attended American Musical and Drama Academy’s High School Summer Conservatory in the summer of 2018. At the Conservatory at Merit School of Music in 2017, Jordan was awarded the Neal Abarbanell College Scholarship. Jordan is attending the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University next fall.

Cameron Weaks is an Atlanta native and senior Magnet student at Tri-Cities High School. An actor and singer, he is also skilled at piano, tuba, organ and percussion. He is a member of the National Beta Club, the Senior Council and has participated in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and the Jazz Band. Cameron was crowned as Mr. Tri-Cities for the 2018-2019 school year. Outside of school, Cameron is a member of the Greater Atlanta Urban Youth Jazz Experience (GAUJE) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE). He is also an organist at his home church in Decatur, Georgia. In the Fall of 2019, Cameron will attend Alabama A&M University pursuing a degree in Music Business.

About The Chicago High School for the Art

The mission of The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) is to provide artistically gifted, diverse Chicago high school students intensive pre-professional training in the arts, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum. Each year, ChiArts serves 600 scholar-artists across five conservatories: Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts — with the goal of shaping them into creators, thinkers, and active citizens whose participation in the arts and culture will enrich their lives and society at large.

About Tri-Cities High School

Tri-Cities High School is a public high school in East Point, Georgia, and part of the Fulton County School System. The Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Magnet Program, launched in 1990, is designed for motivated students who possess an interest in the areas of music, visual arts, dance, drama or music technology. Gifted young artists receive highly specialized training in the arts while earning a high school diploma. The creation of the VPA Magnet Program at Tri-Cities High School is an effort to correlate an academic program with concentrated training in both the visual and performing arts. Students are encouraged to explore the full range of their discipline in a collaborative atmosphere, which meets the highest standards of academic and professional arts training.

About the BMI Foundation

The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit our website at www.bmifoundation.org. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Twitter and Instagram, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook atfacebook.com/bmifoundation.

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