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KSU’s Phil Hewett Memorial Scholarship

Jazzed Magazine • News • September 5, 2014

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Kansas State University has announced that it is building funds for the new Phil Hewett Memorial Scholarship. In 1968, Hewett became band director and instructor of percussion at Kansas State and was tasked with building the band program into a major presence at athletic and other university events. He started with 70 students. Twelve years later, when the Pride received the invitation to be the first American band to perform at the Wembley Cup Soccer Championship in London, England, the band had grown to 325 members and was fully recognized as the premiere band in the Big 8 Conference.

Phil retired from Kansas State in 1982, moved back to his beloved Texas, and died in 2002 after an extended illness. After his death there was an effort to establish a scholarship in his name but these efforts failed, much to the disappointment of his family.

Phil Hewett was also a devoted jazz educator, bringing many big name artists to the Central States Jazz Festival, Doc Severinsen, Tommy Newsom & Ed Shaughnessy, Bill Chase, Buddy Rich, Arnie Lawrence, Maynard Ferguson, Phil Woods Marilyn Maye, Nancy Wilson, just to name a few.

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