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Crenshaw's James Tucker wins prestigious music award

James Tucker, an 8th Grader at Crenshaw Middle School has been named the winner of the 2020-2021 Jack Halkides Music Award!

James, who plays Alto Saxophone, will have the opportunity to sharpen his skills with the help of a professional music instructor this year, thanks to the wishes of a longtime, beloved, Stark County musician.

Jack Halkides, a Timken High School graduate who passed away in 2015 at the age of 84, helped establish the Jack Halkides Tribute Fund (JHTF) award program, ensuring that one Stark County middle school musician would receive private music lessons for an entire school year. Nominated by Crenshaw Middle School music teacher Joslin Shaffer in the spring of 2020, James was selected by the JHTF Committee to become the fourth recipient of this honored award.

Sponsored by the Stark Community Foundation, the JHTF Award nominations are accepted from school music teachers each spring. Applications are sent to teachers each March through the Stark County Educational Service Center. JHTF committee members (Kevin DiSimone, Bob Esterle, Bob Feldbush, Rachel Hagemeier, Mike Halkides, Dave Marchione, Tom Piccari and Chair Gail Martino) selected Mr. Joseph Carlson, a highly regarded instrumental music teacher at Jackson High School to provide the lessons;  James and Mr. Carlson had their first lesson together in October. The JHTF provides for 20 half-hour music lessons to take place during the school year.

Congratulations to James and his family, as well as Ms. Shaffer, and Mr. Carlson!