February 28, 2013

Music scholarship to help junior and high school students attend summer music programs in Michigan

Kendra Kempf, program officer at the Saginaw Community Foundation, sits with Bill Kempf, her grandfather.


Applications for the William & Helen Kempf Music Scholarship, established in 2009 to honor two strong advocates of music education, are due Friday, March 15. The scholarship will help a Saginaw County student participate in a Michigan music camp or study.


The scholarship will provide up to $500 to help a student. Applicants must be a Saginaw County resident, entering grades 7 through 12.


“This funding could help a student who wants to attend a music camp, like Herter Band Camp through the YMCA of Saginaw or one of the programs at Interlochen or Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp,” said Nancy Benjamin, the middle child of the Kempf family.


Bill Kempf, who passed away in 1996, was a professional musician and educator. He served as church organist and choir director at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Saginaw for more than 35 years. He also was an organist and minister at Case Funeral Home and owner of Whitehead Music with his wife, Helen, and son, Marty. Helen Voelker Kempf, who passed away in 2008, worked in Saginaw as a dental assistant and also was passionate about music. She worked in the music store for many years. The couple volunteered often at nursing homes and the Millet Center.


“They lived a life sharing music,” said Kendra Kempf, family member and program officer at the foundation. “They engrained the love and appreciation of music in the raising of their children – Carol Ann Schwanbeck, Nancy Benjamin and Marty Kempf – who also entertained for various functions and educated others. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren have not let that love of music go.”


Kendra Kempf, program officer at the Saginaw Community Foundation, plays the piano as a child with her younger sister, Cortney Lane.

In 2009, the family moved the fund from Hemlock Public Schools to the Saginaw Community Foundation. The foundation administers more than 150 different scholarship funds.


“Our family wanted to continue their legacy of supporting music education,” Benjamin said. “Having this scholarship at the Saginaw Community Foundation helps us ensure it will be available for years and years to follow.”


To learn more and download the application, go to: http://www.saginawfoundation.org/william-helen-kempf-music-scholarship/