In RCAF Today 2019, we examine personnel retention, fighter procurement, future aircrew training and more!
Founded in 2009, the Flying Musicians Association (FMA), a nonprofit corporation, has been enthusiastically promoting the fusion of two passions: Flying and music.
Through presentations, performances, networking, etc., the FMA membership is continuously seeking out opportunities to showcase the important correlation between
both skills. You may see members at your local airport coordinating and performing in an FMA-sponsored “HangarJam,” giving an FMA presentation at your school, aviation or music program, or providing the public with a description of the popular FMA Solo Scholarship Program.
The nominations of passionate student musicians for the 2019 FMA Solo Program are now being accepted. FMA recognizes the correlation between hard work and skill
required by both learning to fly and learning music.
The path is unmistakable: practice, precision, working with others, multitasking, and ultimately… performance. This scholarship is unique in that it assists aspiring flight students from zero time to solo. FMA is excited to enter the fifth year of this scholarship program as it continues to see the impact it has on students, the community, aviation, and music. Nominations are being accepted from music directors, now through Jan. 31, 2019.
Candidates must be a junior or senior high school music student with a passion for music and aviation. All successful nominees will receive a sponsored FMA student membership, an FMA shirt and other items donated by various FMA sponsors, including Bose Aviation, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, MYGOFLIGHT, Gleim Aviation, and ForeFlight, to name a few.
FMA president/CEO John Zapp said, “FMA loves assisting others who share our passions of flying and music. To be able to assist and watch our student members grow through aviation and music is such a rewarding experience. We have now soloed six students, with two in the wings!
“There are now three additional private pilots that have come from this program. We are also looking for those in the aviation and music industry who want to jump on the FMA bandwagon to be a part of this opportunity to grow aviation – the right way.”
Since its inception in 2015, the majority of the scholarship recipients have been from the United States. In 2017, the program saw its first Canadian recipient: Courtney Taylor from Thompson, Manitoba. After a nomination from her music director, and a stringent vetting process, she was able to commence her flight training from zero time to first solo.
FMA funds approximately 15 hours of dual instruction, online ground school, training materials, and provides additional products from sponsors.
FMA recently asked Taylor about her scholarship program experience, where she replied:
“The FMA Solo Program was first brought to my band teacher’s attention through Mike Manny while he was in Thompson, Manitoba, as a rhythm section clinician at the NorMan Jazz Festival in 2016. My teacher told me all about it and, subsequently, we decided it was perfect and he nominated me.
“When I found out I was accepted as a finalist and I was in the home stretch, I wrote up a couple paragraphs expressing my love both for music and aviation to send to FMA. Shortly after, I was ecstatic to discover I was rewarded the scholarship! I immediately registered with my flight school of choice and within just a few short months I was flying!
“Being I am from Thompson – a small city in northern Manitoba – I faced unique challenges ranging from below freezing weather, finding new ways to further my
musical skills, and even as far as moving away from home at age 17 in order to attend flight school. Through the love and support of my family, none of these
challenges or barriers stopped me.
“I flew solo for a while before deciding to head back home to my family. Unfortunately, I haven’t flown in about a year as I have been focusing on choosing a career to pursue. In the near future, I plan to finish my private pilot’s license and take up lessons on the bass guitar with my dad. In the meantime, I will continue to self-teach myself piano, clarinet and singing.
“The FMA Solo Scholarship allowed me to begin my journey to becoming a pilot, as well as offering new connections with flying musicians all around North America.
“I am so proud and grateful to have been the first Canadian recipient of this amazing opportunity, and I thank everyone who has made this possible including all the FMA ambassadors, sponsors, and of course my family and teachers who never failed to cheer me on,” Taylor concluded.