Stax Music Academy & Concord announce recipients of Concord Stax Scholarships for 2023-2024

MEMPHIS AND NASHVILLE – In 2021, Stax Records owner Concord announced the Concord Stax Scholarships to provide full tuition for at least 20 students of Stax Music Academy (SMA) in each year over the next five school years.

Every scholarship is being awarded based on financial need and merit and will be presented to each student in the name of an iconic Stax recording artist or executive. This includes Stax Records founder Jim Stewart, his sister who co-owned the company for many years Estelle Axton, former Stax Records owner Al Bell, members of famed Stax solo and house band Booker T. and the M.G.’s, former Stax Records performing artist and Director of Publicity Deanie Parker, “We Three” songwriter and recording artist Bettye Crutcher, funk legends The Bar-Kays, and the King of Soul, Otis Redding, to name but a few.

Concord and SMA were happy to congratulate the first and second group of young musicians who were awarded scholarships for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic year.

Today, Concord and SMA are excited to announce the third round of scholarship recipients for the 2023-2024 year.T he full list of students is:

The Rance Allen Concord Stax Scholarship

Lauren Sanders

The Estelle Axton Concord Stax Scholarship

Anaya Murray

The Bar-Kays Concord Stax Scholarship

Christian Gillespie

The Al Bell Concord Stax Scholarship

Jayden Moore

The William Bell Concord Stax Scholarship

John B. Smith II

The Booker T. & the M.G.’s Concord Stax Scholarship

Zander Henley

The Little Milton Campbell Concord Stax Scholarship

Richana Turner-Snerling

The Bettye Crutcher Concord Stax Scholarship

Pasley Thompson

The Isaac Hayes Concord Stax Scholarship

Nicholas Dickerson

The Brett D. Hellerman Concord Stax Scholarship

Desmond Coppin

The Mable John Concord Stax Scholarship

Joi Stubbs

The Albert King Concord Stax Scholarship

Matthew Dia

The Linda Lyndell Concord Stax Scholarship

Mekhi Turner

The Deanie Parker Concord Stax Scholarship

Casey Malone

The David Porter Concord Stax Scholarship

Brandon Wooten

The Otis Redding Concord Stax Scholarship

Rachael Walker

The Staple Singers Concord Stax Scholarship

Teiona Echols

The Jim Stewart Concord Stax Scholarship

Zipphorah Israel

The Johnnie Taylor Concord Stax Scholarship

Dontae Currie

The Rufus Thomas Concord Stax Scholarship

Joshua Gray

To donate to the Concord Stax Scholarship, click HERE.

Operated by the Soulsville Foundation, which also oversees the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and The Soulsville Charter School, the Stax Music Academy inspires young people from under-resourced communities in the greater Memphis area with industry-centric music education and creative youth programming that enhances their academic, cognitive, performance and leadership skills by utilizing music with an intense focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.

Since it began programming on June 1, 2000, SMA has fostered and coached over 4,000 students in instrumental and vocal training, music theory, songwriting and music business to assure that each young artist has the necessary knowledge to earn a music scholarship to college and understands how to make a living in music.

“The Stax Music Academy instills discipline, leadership, teamwork and the creative skills needed to earn music scholarships that help these children and their families achieve even greater educational opportunity,” stated Concord Board Chairman Steve Smith. “They’ve also trained thousands of young people to be wonderful musicians, session players, engineers, artists and songwriters, and their alumni can be found doing great things all over the world. All of this is proof that carrying forth cultural ideals of the original Stax Records achieves results. On behalf of Concord and its friends and family, I’m honored to congratulate this second group of Concord Stax Scholarship awardees. We are committed more than ever to championing young artists as they make their way in the music business for decades to come.”

Stax Records’ Director of Publicity and Artist Relations throughout most of its history and founding President and CEO of the Soulsville Foundation Deanie Parker said, “It’s very gratifying to have Concord’s ongoing support of the authentic music we teach at the Stax Music Academy that we produced at Stax Records during its 1960s and 70s heyday. This music is a testament to the label’s creativity, worldwide love for The Memphis Sound, and belief in economic empowerment for marginalized young people.”

“We are eternally grateful to Concord not only for their financial support but also for their ongoing participation with SMA including workshops and programs that introduce our students to GRAMMY-winning artists and producers and their staff of music-business career professionals,” said Soulsville Foundation President and CEO Pat Mitchell Worley. “A monetary value simply can’t be placed on that kind of exposure for our young people.”


Concord is the independent, worldwide leader in the development, management and acquisition of sound recordings, music publishing, theatrical performance rights and narrative content. Headquartered in Nashville with additional offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Melbourne and Miami, Concord also has staff in Toronto and Tokyo. The Company’s catalog consists of nearly 900,000 songs, composed works, plays, musicals and active recordings which are licensed in virtually every country and territory worldwide.


 The Stax Music Academy is a premier afterschool and summer music institute that provides industry-centric music education combined with creative youth development programming. It is the only music institute in the world that focuses on the musical art form created at Stax in the 1960s and 70s and how the evolution of that music can translate into the original music students are creating today.


 Stax Records, now owned by Concord, was founded by Jim Stewart in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee. It rose from a small, family-operated company to become one of the most influential record labels in the world, helping create “The Memphis Sound” and launching the careers of icons such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the MGs, the Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Bar-Kays, and dozens of other artists who helped change popular culture forever. In all, Stax placed 167 hit songs in the Top 100 in Pop and 243 hits in the Top 100 in R&B.