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The Stephen "Chopper" Donnelly Memorial Scholarships
Steve “Chopper” Donnelly passed away unexpectedly in December, 2019. He was a kind, sensitive artist, bright, funny and greatly loved by his family, children, friends and fellow musicians. He was a talented and passionate guitar demon (bass, acoustic, electric, slide) who also played the mandolin, dobro, banjo and the ukulele. In addition to performing and playing, Chopper frequently composed his own music, creating a magical synthesis of warm, melodic reverie.
The Stephen Donnelly Memorial Scholarships are offered in loving memory of Steve and will support students at the Chiswick Saturday Music Centre, in Chiswick, UK, where Steve spent many years. The “Chopper” Donnelly Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student who is in financial need and who specializes in guitar, and the second scholarship, the Stephen Donnelly Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student in financial need, learning an instrument of his/her choice. Both scholarships include a year's worth of one on one music lessons at Chiswick Saturday Music Centre as well as the opportunity to perform at each of our twice yearly concerts.
Maybe you knew him as Chopper, or maybe you knew him as Steve, but either way, in him, you had a faithful friend for life. If you didn’t have the privilege of knowing Mr. Donnelly, please take the time to listen to his works, and be inspired by his phenomenal artistry.
Providing these scholarships is a way to honor Steve’s humble, gentle spirit and to remember that he left us far too soon. The scholarships are being provided by two of Steve’s former cruise-shipmates, Dr. Tamara Dorey and John McGlynn. The 3 met on board a Caribbean cruise ship where they worked, and together, they shared many happy memories and much laughter. Their camaraderie spanned 40 years and celebrates the lasting importance of the greatest of all blessings: true friendship.
The scholarships will be an annual award for two students each year, the first year being funded by Tamara and John. The second year will be funded by members of Steve's family including his brother Pete. Thereafter, it is hoped that those who knew and loved Steve will donate to continue the scholarships and Steve’s musical legacy.
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