Jacobs Trumpet Scholar honors former MAPS band member

MANISTEE — A smile easily spreads across the faces of Jim and Susie Jacobs as they recall their late son Jeff’s love of music and playing the trumpet.

The family of the late Jeff Jacobs presented Manistee High School band member Kyle Pierce (third from left) with the Jeff Jacobs Trumpet Scholar award for the 2018-19 school year. The family donates a professional trumpet to be used in concert and solo and ensemble performances in memory of their son who lost his battle to cancer in 2011. Shown left to right is MAPS director of bands Andrea Mack, (Jeff's parent's) Jim and Susie Jacobs, Pierce, Roger Lind (who finished second and will use last year's donated trumpet) and Casey LaPoint (who finished third).

The family of the late Jeff Jacobs presented Manistee High School band member Kyle Pierce (third from left) with the Jeff Jacobs Trumpet Scholar award for the 2018-19 school year. The family donates a professional trumpet to be used in concert and solo and ensemble performances in memory of their son who lost his battle to cancer in 2011. Shown left to right is MAPS director of bands Andrea Mack, (Jeff’s parent’s) Jim and Susie Jacobs, Pierce, Roger Lind (who finished second and will use last year’s donated trumpet) and Casey LaPoint (who finished third).

It was something that began in the hallways of the old Manistee High School under the late Manistee Area Public Schools band director Paul Cramer and then continued under the guidance of former band director Cynthia Swan Eagan from 1980-86.

But the love of music didn’t stop when Jacobs was presented his high school diploma. He took his trumpet playing to the next level forming a popular musical group called “The Drift” that was based out of San Francisco. His trumpet playing was highly acclaimed and respected in the music world.

“With most kids you have to get after them to practice, but that wasn’t the case with him,” said Susie with a laugh. “With him, we would have to tell him to stop playing as he was doing it all the time.”

When Jeff lost his battle with cancer in 2011 the Jacobs family decided a good way to keep his love of music going strong and to hopefully encourage some up and coming Manistee High School trumpet players was through the Jeff Jacobs Trumpet Scholar program. They provide a professional model trumpet that a trumpet player in the band who meets certain requirements gets use it for the entire school year. The student selected also gets their name placed on a plaque.

“It’s honestly the way to keep the music he loved alive,” said Susie. “He just fell in love with music here.”

Jim agreed saying that Jeff really went the extra yard when it came to performing music and that the whole family has an appreciation for it.

“He played music and enjoyed traveling and that was what he liked to do,” he said. “Our daughter really loved music as well and she was a percussion major at Central Michigan University, but she is an educator now.”

For the 2018-19 year Jeff Jacobs Trumpet Scholar honor will go to Kyle Pierce, while Roger Lind will play a trumpet that has been used for several years that the Jacobs previously donated. Also applying for the honor was Casey LaPoint who finished third.

MAPS band director Andrea Mack said students had to apply and the criteria was they needed to have earned at least a 2.0 grade point average; performed a trumpet event at any Michigan School Band and Orchestra Solo and Ensemble during the 2017-18 school year and missed no band performances this year.

“This is really a nice honor for the kids and we thank the Jacobs family for doing this for our band,” said Mack.

Jim said that MAPS success has and continues to be because of the great teaching and leadership students receive from the directors.

“When you think of it Manistee has had only three band directors in the last 60 years, which is pretty incredible as many schools change directors every two or three years,” said Jim.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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