Gibson Gives Debuts First-Ever Music Scholarship Program with First Scholarship Awarded Honoring Iconic Godmother Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Gibson Gives partnership with Save The Music Foundation to donate 15 cash scholarships to young students this year. First scholarship awarded honors the iconic, Godmother Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Gibson and its philanthropic branch, Gibson Gives, announces their first-ever annual Gibson Gives Music Scholarship Program. The partnership between Gibson and Save the Music Foundation will create 15 cash scholarships, along with instruments and gear, directly to students.

The Sister Rosetta Tharpe Scholarship, which honors the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll, will be for high school seniors who are embarking on post-secondary education in music.

The scholarship is available to students with a guitar interest who are planning to pursue music through college. As stated in Gibson’s press release, “each recipient will receive one guitar, as well as a $5,000 cash grant to assist in their ​college funding” and these scholarships “will result in $75,000.00+ (10 grants of 5,000k, and 10 Gibson guitars) in giving to young musicians.”

“The launch of our new scholarship program in partnership with Save The Music allows us to directly impact the lives of young musicians,” says Dendy Jarrett, Executive Director, Gibson Gives. “For our first scholarship, we’re proud to be partnering with Save The Music to both pay tribute to the godmother of Rock ’n’ Roll, the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe and to support the developing careers of young musicians and creators!”

The scholarships will be created in both current and legacy artist’s names to celebrate their cultural impact across multiple genres of music. Expect more to be announced soon.

The Sister Rosetta Tharpe Scholarship has been awarded to a student from Philadelphia High School for Girls, who plans to pursue music at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in the Fall.

“I love that Gibson has taken inspiration from a trailblazing musician like Sister Rosetta Tharpe –and channeled it into a meaningful new opportunity for young musicians,” says Henry Donahue, Executive Director of Save The Music. “We’re very grateful at Save The Music to Gibson Gives and our partners at the Public Schools of Philadelphia for shining a light on both Sister Rosetta Tharpe and these students. We can’t wait to see and hear what these young creatives come up with next on their life journeys.”

American gospel musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe photographed at Wilbraham Road Station in Manchester, England, while filming the Granada Television special Blues And Gospel Train, on May 7, 1964. (Photo by TV Times/TV Times via Getty Images)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s immense talent and confidence arrived during an era when women, and especially women of color, had no voice. An era where no woman dared play guitar at the front of the stage, let alone front a solo act. No woman except Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

An audacious performer from Cotton Plant, Arkansas who became a gospel superstar, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is an artist that rarely comes up in debates about the true founding father of rock ‘n’ roll. She fronted her own band, she was one of the first artists of note to play the iconic ‘61 Les Paul SG Custom electric guitar, she was a headlining, Black female artist who toured through the segregated Jim Crow South, and she has been largely overlooked as a seminal figure in the creation of rock music.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe:


Gibson Gives:


Save The Music Foundation:




Cover photo:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Courtesy of Gibson, Getty images.

%d bloggers like this: