Friday September 7, 2012

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announced that Jerome Edgerton of Pittsfield is the first recipient of the Tupelo Award.

The Tupelo Award, a fund of Berkshire Taconic, offers individuals an opportunity to deepen and enrich an abiding passion or serious interest through study, travel, research and development of a specific project.

Edgerton’s passion for drumming and commitment to achieving his project’s goals were contributing factors in the award.

His current project consisted of three distinct phases. The first involved researching percussion instruments and drums and their use in various cultures of the world. During the project’s second phase, he studied African drumming with a master drummer.

The project will conclude with a musical production titled "Evolution of Rhythms," which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Barrington Stage Company, 58 Union St. The performance will focus on rhythms that have evolved from the beginning of time to the 21st century.

It will feature African drumming and dance, jazz and hip-hop, bucket drumming, step and modern dance, rap and break dancing. The cast will consist of youth from the various after school programs Edgerton teaches as well as members of Youth Alive Step, Dance and Drumline.

The next deadline for applications for the Tupelo Award is Oct. 15.

The fund will award up to $1,500 this year. Residents of the Berkshire Taconic region between the ages of 16 and 36 who demonstrate financial need and other sources of support for their chosen project are eligible.

Applications are available online at www.berkshiretaconic.org/grantseekers.