James Gaertner & Anne Marks-Gaertner Fine Arts Scholarship
In categories: Scholarships
July 24, 2012
Jim Gaertner’s life-long love of live theater began at age 12 at Saginaw’s Pit & Balcony Theater. He went on to participate in Michigan Summer Stock, both on and off stage, at Sister Lakes Playhouse in Sister Lakes, Mich. Jim created lighting designs for several productions and also performed at Pit & Balcony. He received his BA in Fine Arts in Theater from Saginaw Valley State College (now Saginaw Valley State University) in 1973 and later directed two musicals at Pit: “The Fantastics” and “Annie.” Jim managed and directed musical productions at Frankenmuth’s Fischer Hall. He began his teaching career at Nouvel in 1998 and directed his first musical production there in 2000. Sharing his love of live theater with eager high school students, he introduced them to the great classic Broadway musicals and hosted an annual theater trip to New York City to see Broadway’s best. Jim retired from Nouvel in June 2010 after 20 full-scale productions, countless rehearsals, wonderful student performers and cherished memories.
Anne Marks-Gaertner grew up in a musical family: her grandmother sang opera and directed a church choir where Anne’s parents met. Anne’s parents sang in the choir at Saginaw’s First Presbyterian church for more than 20 years and her mother was the featured soprano soloist. They were also part of a quartet that performed for various groups and organizations. Choral music has always been an important part of Anne’s life. Her first ‘on-stage’ performance was at age 7 singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ Anne went on to be a featured soloist in school and church choirs. During her college years she was the lead vocalist in the jazz quartet ‘Sounds Three + One’ that played professionally at venues in the Saginaw area. Her first community theater performance was “Fiddler on the Roof” at Pit & Balcony where she played Tzeitel, the oldest daughter. She went on to perform featured roles in the musicals “Gypsy,” “Guys and Dolls” and “Cabaret.”
Jim and Anne first met in 1975 on stage at Pit & Balcony! Nearly 30 years later they reconnected at the funeral of a mutual theater friend and eventually married in 2007. To honor their marriage, they created a Fine Arts Scholarship to recognize the talents of students at Nouvel Catholic Central High School.
Their shared love of theater, music and the arts continues to enrich their lives as they hope it will enrich the lives of students who benefit from their Fine Arts scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded annually at the Nouvel Baccalaureate.
● Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA
● Graduating senior at Nouvel Catholic Central High School
● Fine Arts participation at Nouvel Catholic Central High School (plays, concerts, art exhibits, etc.)
● Enroll full-time in pursuit of an undergraduate degree
● Pursuing at least 6 credit hours of Fine Arts classes in the first year of post-high school education.
Essay (50); special skills/interests related to Fine Arts (vocal, instrumental, theatre, painting, etc.) (30); community service (20).
Special Attachment Required
Please refer to the online scholarship application for more information.
Note: Applicants are not required to pursue a Fine Arts Degree, but must include Fine Arts classes in their first year of post-high school education, as stipulated in the scholarship qualifications.