Almost 2 Million Dollars in Scholarships Awarded to South Suburban Students at HBCU Band Auditions


Almost 2 Million Dollars in Scholarships Awarded to South Suburban Students at HBCU Band Auditions 

RICHTON PARK, ILL. — Band students from Rich Township 227, Hillcrest High School and Southland College Prep Charter High School were offered almost 2 million dollars in four-year band scholarships last month at the annual HBCU band auditions event held at Southland College Prep. 

Eighteen students auditioned for spots at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) bands, said Dr. Carl Cogar, the director of fine arts at Southland College Prep who started the audition event in 2018. 

“Being a part of the marching band at an HBCU is a life-changing experience,” Cogar said. “We wanted to give our students in the south suburbs the opportunity to audition for some of the best bands in the country in person and have the chance to go to college on a band scholarship.” 

Twenty-seven HBCU band directors made their way to the Richton Park high school campus on December 20 to hear promising young musicians. The directors were in Chicago for the 76th annual Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference. 

The universities and colleges included Hampton University, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling State University, North Carolina A & T University, Clark Atlanta University, Texas College, Virginia State University, Allen University, Central State University, Claflin University, Miles College, Talladega College, Morehouse College, Delaware State University, Tuskegee University, Wiley College, Langston University, Mississippi Valley State University and Fisk University to name a few. 

Each student auditioned for a minimum of six colleges and universities. Each school offered students a scholarship in excess of $32,000 for four years. Some schools offered students full band and academic scholarships. One Southland student received scholarship offers of more than $320,000. Cogar estimates that students earned “well over” $1.7 million in scholarship offers. 

Ron Harrigan, Southland’s director of bands, was excited to see his students walk away from the evening with scholarship offers in hand. 

“This event gives students a chance to earn a college education through their musical skills and talent,” Harrigan said. “Getting scholarship offers is a reward for their years of hard work and dedication.” 

Latest Stories

Latest Podcast

Delmarie Cobb- Political Strategist