Washburn University freshman Forrest Parker Evans, of Topeka, has been named the Shirley Renner Memorial Scholar for 2013. The scholarship is awarded by the Dan Falley Memorial Fund and Scholarship Trustees.
Evans is an honors student and is pursuing a degree in music education. In 2011 he was honored as the youngest musician to ever be selected the finger-style guitar champion at the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships. In 2010, he was also the recipient of the Jam4Dan Scholarship.
Evans instructs students to support his higher educational pursuits and plays guitar and bass with The Orphans of Smooth Jazz. His talents are shared with various community organizations, including the Topeka VA and local nursing homes. Many of his performances are available for viewing at www.forrestjams.com
He is receiving a cash stipend of $500 was made possible by the numerous donations from friends and family of Shirley Renner who died Jan. 17, 2013, on the eve of J4D6.
Wishing to honor Renner, her love of music, and her support of Jam4Dan, the trustees have chosen a scholar with similar beliefs. Many knew Shirley as "Aunt Shirley" because of her outgoing personality, love of people, and selfless giving. She was a singer and banjo player, finding great happiness when attending the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kan. Her memorial gathering centered on her love of music and was attended by numerous friends and family.
In his 2010 Jam4Dan scholarship application, Forrest Evans wrote : "Music is everywhere, in that beat of your own heart, in the rhythm of each step you take, each word you form in your mouth, in blowing wind, and even the turn of a page. Music is what puts a spring in your step and helps you find love in life."
He is the son of Andrew and Sheryl Evans, of Topeka.
The 2013 Jam4Dan Trustees are Mike Fox, Joel Edison, Tom Krebs, Danl Blackwood, J.D. Bloomar, Chris Aytes and Ed Carmona.
(Dena Anson, 785-670-1711)