The Danny Marona Performing Arts Scholarship Fund
Danny Marona has had a lifelong love affair with the performing arts dating back to 1957 when he first performed on stage with the San Francisco Opera Company as a member of the boys' chorus. Since that time Mr. Marona has enjoyed a successful career as a performer that has spanned six decades and won him numerous accolades and awards. He has also distinguished himself as a writer, director, and producer with several critically acclaimed stage shows to his credit. However, as a high school drop-out Danny Marona came to the realization many years ago how very difficult the pursuit of a career in the performing arts (or any career for that matter) can be without the benefit of a proper education. Danny simply puts it like this: "Without a real education I was forced to rely on the 'luck factor' way too much of the time. I think anyone with even a modicum of common sense knows that sheer luck is not enough to perpetuate a real career. You need a meaningful education. Without it your options are severely limited, especially in the fiercely competitive climate in which we find ourselves these days." That is why many years ago Mr. Marona vowed that if ever he were in a position to assist young aspiring artist in getting the education so vital to their success, he would do so.
Danny's recent retirement from the stage has now afforded him the time and opportunity to make the education of young performing artists not only a number one priority but a full time commitment as well. Mr. Marona's knowledge and background as a performer coupled with his relentless zeal and boundless energy are sure to be a winning combination in this most worthwhile endeavor.
However, the initiation of this scholarship fund is only the beginning. Danny says, "It is vitally important that we build something that will take on a life of it's own. And we can only do that by keeping the performing arts in the forefront, thereby creating 'top of mind awareness' within the hearts and minds of all Idahoans." Our founder is adamant in his belief that this scholarship fund must ultimately be able to exist independent of the name Danny Marona. "If we do not achieve that goal," says Danny, "we will have failed." "And I have no intention of failing."
It seems that Danny Marona has a "rendezvous with destiny," and that destiny is to try and provide as many scholarships as possible to young aspiring artists who so richly deservethem.
Rendevous with Destiny
Although it isn't something we often ponder, the fact is the performing arts impact each of us in a very profound way. Whether it is the enjoyment of a great movie, or being entranced by the symphony or ballet, or just enjoying your favorite singer, we come into contact with the performing arts on almost a daily basis. Yet, while in the midst of enjoying one of these awe-inspiring performances, most of us rarely stop to think of just how much intense training and education is required of these marvelous artists to become so adroit at their craft. Another fact that somehow seems to escape our consciousness is that a relatively small amount of scholarship money is made available each year to young aspiring performers. While multi-millions of dollars are shelled out for all sorts of other scholarships each year, money for the performing arts continues to lag tragically behind. This is not to begrudge any other field of endeavor its rightful scholarship funds, but simply to illustrate by comparison just how desperately lacking are the arts when it comes to major grants and scholarships.
Each year in this country, music and arts programs are being severely cut from the high school level all the way down to elementary school, where music and performing arts programs are all but non-existent. If you just give one moment of serious consideration we think you will agree that we must keep the performing arts alive and well. Just for a moment try to imagine a world devoid of music, film and theater, or the dance. The very thought of a world such as that is dismal indeed. It has been said, "Some build bridges while others build cities and towns; but the ones who make life really worth living are the singers, the actors, and the clowns." Because we believe that to be more truth than fiction, and because we cannot accomplish our lofty and worthwhile goals by ourselves, we ask you to consider helping us with one of the truly great causes of all time.
Competition Produces Quality
Someone once said, "competition produces quality." Because we believe that is true, and because we feel that ultimately competition will bring to the surface the most talented, diligent, and deserving candidates for scholarships, we have decided to provide a format as well as a forum for these talented young performing artists to compete.
Here is how the competitions work. All of the schools in The Greater Magic Valley are grouped into six regions. Each region will have its own competition where the student will perform their particular performing art (voice, musical instrument, dance, drama, etc.) before a live audience. A distinguished panel of judges will grade each contestant's performance on a prescribed scoring system. The students with the three highest scores respectively will be awarded a first, second, and third place scholarship. Then the first and second- place winners from each region will compete in the Grand Finale Concert (most likely held at the CSI Fine Arts Auditorium). Once again they will perform their particular skill before a live audience for a larger scholarship amount. And once again a panel of judges will grade their performance and award first, second, and third place scholarships.
The concept is an exciting one indeed. The contestants in both the regional competitions and the Grand Finale competition will know immediately whether they did or did not win a scholarship.
With competitions such as these the possibilities are limitless. With thousands of dollars in scholarships, widespread television and media coverage, packed auditoriums, and most of all the creating of long overdue 'top of mind' awareness of the performing arts. Keep your eye on us and watch us fly!
For more information call 1-888-MARONA-1 (1-888-627-6621)