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Harry Chapin Scholarship to Be Established at Catawba College; Celebration at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square

February 18, 2011

Category: Academics, Events, Gifts, Music

chapin.jpgOne of Harry Chapin's famous lines was "Keep the change." Fans of the late great singer/songwriter are now being asked to contribute that change (and maybe the interest it has accrued over the years) to honor his memory. The funds will help endow a Harry Chapin music scholarship at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.

Chapin's New York fans are also invited to attend a kickoff celebration for the campaign to endow the scholarship. It will take place at the Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square on Saturday, March 5th. Free and open to all Chapin fans, the kickoff will begin at 8:00 p.m.

Chapin is best remembered as the writer of such hit story songs as "Taxi," "Cats in the Cradle," and "Mail Order Annie." He was also a memorable performer and, as important, a tireless champion for the poor, hungry, and disadvantaged. He co-founded World Hunger Year (now WhyHunger) and performed many live dates each year for a wide range of charities.

Catawba College is one of only about a dozen American colleges or universities with a curriculum specifically designed for students of popular music.

Over the past five years, five Catawba students have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the national John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship competition. This is a far better result than any other school in a contest that receives thousands of entries each year.

"In Tune Monthly" recently named Catawba a Best Music School for 2011 in an annual article on top colleges and universities. This is the fourth year the magazine has listed Catawba alongside such established institutions as Julliard, Eastman, Peabody, and Berklee.

Catawba has received permission from the estate of Harry Chapin to establish an endowed scholarship in his name. The Chapin Scholarship will be awarded for study at Catawba to talented songwriting students who have demonstrated a commitment to social activism and/or community service.

The scholarship allows Catawba to honor Chapin's memory and inspire a new generation of performing songwriters committed to the greater good. Harry's daughter, the singer-songwriter Jen Chapin, is serving as honorary chairperson for this scholarship endowment campaign.

Dr. David Lee Fish, chair of the Catawba Music Department, invites all Chapin fans in the New York City area to the kickoff celebration. "We'll share stories about Harry, sing some of his songs, and remember how he made this a better place to be. Of course, we'll also pass the hat."

A special live performance of the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album by the Catawba College Vernaculars will immediately follow the Chapin celebration. It too is free and open to the public, and Chapin fans are invited to stay for the show.

Individuals interested in helping to endow the Harry Chapin Scholarship fund may make a tax-deductible contribution by visiting

For more information about the Harry Chapin Scholarship at Catawba College or the scholarship campaign kickoff event, call (704) 637-4280 or e-mail


NewsCatawba Performs Beatles' "Abbey Road" at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square




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