We are pleased to honor the 2018 Recipient of the Big Picture Learning Delfeayo Marsalis Scholarship - Rhianna Cohen of Seven Oaks Met School
in Winnipeg, Canada. This scholarship is provided annually to a student within the Big Picture Learning network who exhibits both a commitment to community services, as well as an intent to continue pursuing their musical interests post graduation.
As a school project, Rhianna designed and built her own instrument out of PVC tubing, the rimbatubes (and instrument made popular by a YouTube personality she had seen online). While the plans for the instrument existed, Rhianna spent the time it took to learn the physics of sound so that she could properly adjust and tune her instrument once it was built. She learned to play it and had her first live performance as one of her exhibitions.
Rhianna was so inspired by the ability to make an amazing instrument on her own with plumbing and other household projects that she decided -- as part of her Senior Thesis Project -- to prototype a number of additional instruments made from PVC. From this, Rhianna came up with the idea of teaching other students how to build and play their own instruments and from a youth PVC orchestra. Watch one of her performance below:
About the Delfeayo Marsalis Scholarship: Big Bang 2015 kicked off in true New Orleans style, thanks to an appearance at our opening reception by jazz legend Delfeayo Marsalis. In honor of Delfeayo's appearance, we were pleased to launch the first annual Delfeayo Marsalis scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship is provided annually to a student within the network who both exhibits a commitment to community service, as well as an intent to continue pursuing their musical interests post graduation.
Delfeayo Marsalis is one of the top trombonists, composers, and producers in jazz today. Known for his "technical excellence, inventive mind, and frequent touches of humor..." (Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times), he is "one of the best, most imaginative and musical trombonists of his generation" (Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner). In January 2011, Delfeayo and the Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton and Jason) earned the nation's highest jazz honor - a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. Read Delfeayo's full bio here