Humber guitar student Sam Dickinson has won the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s $10,000 Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance – one of the most prestigious student music awards in the country.
“Winning the Hnatyshyn award means a lot to me,” says Sam. “Along with the prestige associated with it, the financial side is definitely appreciated as well!”
According to Denny Christianson, director of music at Humber’s School of Performing Arts, Sam is a natural choice for the award.
“He’s extraordinarily talented,” Christianson explains. “He’s also had the benefit of two blessings – one is a father who’s one of the best jazz musicians in Canada [head of Humber’s keyboard program Brian Dickinson] and the other is exposure to a first-rate music education, including Humber’s community music program. Sam had the perfect conditions in which to grow as a musician – which meant that, by the time he was 15, he was an audacious performer.”
Humber students have won five of the eight Oscar Peterson grants that have been awarded.
“I’m honoured to be placed among the likes of Jon Challoner, Eli Bennett, and my friend and colleague Matt Chalmers,” says Sam. “Humber has a massive faculty of great musicians and an even bigger student body to hang with and learn from, which has helped keep me in shape musically.”
Sam, who’s going into his final year at Humber, plans to pursue a Master’s degree in New York City where, as he puts it, “so much of today’s music begins.”