Seagram Distillers Co. will establish a scholarship fund in entertainer Lena Horne's name to benefit students of Washington's Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Seagram planned to announce the scholarship fund last night at a New York party in honor of Horne, marking her 65th birthday and the closing night of her Broadway show, "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music."
The amount of the fund has not been decided, said Seagram publicist Carol Connell. "It's a gift that hasn't totally been worked out." The annual scholarships will go to students at Ellington, a public high school which gives special training in the arts, who are continuing music and voice lessons during the summer. Horne's twin grandsons graduated from Ellington last month.
The company is discussing with Ellington officials the amount of funds and number of students who will get funding. "It will be a substantial amount of money," said Connell. "That's all I can tell you."
The scholarship, which was developed just last week, Connell said, "was conceived in an effort to give Lena something lasting--a tribute to someone who has passed a milestone in her life and her career." It was timed to coincide with the party last night, at the Roseland ballroom in New York, given by Seagram and the Broadway Lena Co., the producing company of Horne's show.
The Ellington school was Horne's and her manager's choice for the scholarship. "We had a visit to the school," said the manager, Sherman Sneed, who noted that Horne had been here two years ago to perform a benefit for the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. "She was very impressed with the school. We thought this would not only be a tribute to the school but to Lena Horne as well."
Connell said the scholarship might be presented by Horne herself when she appears at Wolf Trap with her show July 25 and 26.