Endowments & Scholarships
Merle Evans Scholarship
(est. 2002) American circus bandmaster Merle Evans was born in Columbus, Kansas in 1894, and joined the S. W. Brundage Carnival Band at the age of fifteen as a cornetist. For the next ten years, he traveled throughout the United States with theater and comedy shows, eventually becoming bandmaster of Jess Willard's Wild West Show. In 1919, Evans became bandmaster for the newly-combined Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circuses. From 1919 until his retirement in 1969, Evans played to an estimated 165,120,000 circus fans. He remained active in circus music until his death at the age of 93.
The Merle Evans Scholarship is awarded each year to students studying toward a career of playing in or conducting concert bands.