News

2020 Theodora Zavin Award Winner Announced

Published: 08.27.2020
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Above: Ava Henry


The BMI Foundation has announced Laguardia High School senior Ava Henry as the winner of the 2020 Theodora Zavin Scholarship, a music study prize named in honor of the Foundation’s late founding President, Theodora Zavin. “I am immensely grateful to BMI for this award. Jim Pugliese and Robert Apostle were some of my most valued mentors at Laguardia as they’ve pushed me to be the artist I am becoming.” said Henry. “And last but definitely not least; to my incredibly supportive family and my biggest fans, I love you.”

The Theodora Zavin Scholarship is granted annually to a graduating senior musician at Manhattan’s prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, and recognizes outstanding achievement in composition. The award was established in 2005 through the generosity of friends, family, and colleagues to honor the memory of Theodora Zavin, BMI’s former Senior Vice President & Special Counsel. Zavin was a pioneer supporter of copyright protection on behalf of songwriters and publishers for nearly fifty years at BMI; she also oversaw the establishment of the BMI Foundation and many of its core programs for young musicians.

Ava Henry is a singer, songwriter and visionary from Brooklyn, NY. She began with a strong foundation as a classical vocalist at the age of 11 and began songwriting at age 14. In her compositions, she immediately sought to break down the confines that make genres exclusionary dappling in Blues-based genres such as; Folk, Soul, Country, Rock, Funk and R&B. She has also furthered her musical prowess as a Jazz vocalist, singing with Laguardia’s Senior Jazz Band and receiving the Bernie Linden Jazz Award honoring Kenny Drew, this year. She has performed and hosted songwriting events at venues such as The Bitter End, The Knitting Factory, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Zinc Bar. She will be attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in the fall.