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Honoring His Vision: Hugh Masekela

Hugh MasekelaHugh Masekela, who received his BA in classical trumpet from Manhattan School of Music (MSM) in 1964, went on to become one of the most renowned trumpeters, musicians and composers of his time. It was at MSM that Hugh would form the artistic and professional relationships with fellow students and teachers that would endure for the rest of his life. Hugh Masekela passed away on January 23, 2018.

On the occasion of what would have been his 80th birthday, MSM and The ELMA Music Foundation, in partnership with the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation, announced the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at MSM in honor of the legendary South African musician. The scholarship will allow six South African students to pursue Bachelor of Music degrees at MSM, and will cover tuition and all living expenses for each scholarship recipient for his or her full four years of study.

Hugh was an activist and a lifelong advocate for African identity, heritage and expression. The Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship will be awarded to South African students who have faced significant social, educational, cultural or economic challenges, and who have a demonstrated interest in the advancement of music consistent with Hugh's legacy and vision.

This extraordinary grant, which will help foster the artistic training of the next generation of South African musicians, is testament to the deep devotion and lifelong connection to the School that being a student at MSM so often inspires.

If you're interested in supporting the next generation of artists through a legacy gift, please contact Edward Sien at 917-493-4583 or