This is a renewable, merit-based scholarship in an amount up to $1,000. 

Keith Mardak has been bringing music to people’s lives for many years. From his early days teaching the accordion, to his current role as chairman and CEO of the Hal Leonard Corporation, one of the world’s largest music publishers, Mardak has made enormous strides to increase the number of children exposed to music education. As VanderCook's president emeritus Dr. Charles T. Menghini said at a ceremony awarding Mardak a doctorate of music honoris causa, “Thanks to his vision, creativity and talent, literally millions of people around the world have learned to play an instrument.”  

Mardak’s work on behalf of music education even extends to his service on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. His generous gifts created the Hal Leonard Young Musicians Program in Milwaukee, in which Hal Leonard employees donate their time to teach keyboard, guitar, drums, saxophone and voice to club participants. The program has garnered widespread attention and now serves as a national model for teaching music to underprivileged children. Mardak also collaborates with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and First Stage Children’s Theater to bring their programming to the Boys & Girls Clubs. He constantly asks himself how he can help give more students access to music education allowing them to reap the many benefits of a life of music. 


VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288