Mike Chapman Memorial Music Scholarship Presented
Athens, Al -- The debut of the Mike Chapman Memorial Music Scholarship was presented May 20th, 2017 to Shannon O'Neill, a Clements High School graduate who will be attending the University of North Alabama this fall. Shannon played alto saxophone in the band but has already been playing in UNA’s High School Honors Symphony for two years (violin) and has earned a seat as violinist for the Shoals Symphony this fall. The presentation was made during the May dinner show at Yesterdays Event Center Athens, Al. In attendance were Chapman’s wife Connie, additional family members, Chapman’s lifelong partner in music Milton Sledge, members of Chapman’s Clements High School Class of 1970, members of the O'Neill family, and 200 dinner show guests.
In addition to the Scholarship, Gordon Franklin representing “The Flashbacks Showband” made an additional $500 contribution toward ONeill’s education, in memory of Chapman, prior to the band’s dinner show performance for the evening.
Chapman was an Athens Limestone County native who lost his battle with cancer in 2016. He was one of the most sought after Nashville studio musicians for the past two decades and a member of Garth Brooks studio band the “G-Men”, and had played on recordings selling over 170 million albums. For the last five years he had reconnected to his hometown roots when he joined The Flashbacks as musical director and bass player, renewing his passion for performing in front of live audiences. Yesterdays Event Center, where Chapman had performed over a dozen times in the past few years, created the scholarship in Mike’s memory in Oct 2016, and is funding it for the first five years, with ONeill being the first recipient. The Scholarship will be presented each year to a Clements High School graduating senior who is continuing their pursuit of music excellence at a college or university of their choice. It is a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization open to outside contributions, which are tax deductible.