Meet our Scholar of the Week, John Eze Uzodinma! John is a student at the The University of South Mississippi & the proud winner or The Presser Foundation’s Undergraduate Award. Congratulations, John!

John Eze Uzodinma, II, a music performance major at The University of Southern Mississippi, was recently Awarded The Presser Foundation’s Undergraduate Scholar Award. Selected by the music faculty guided solely by consideration of excellence and merit, this award is an honor award and the student, in his/her senior year, is to be known as a Presser Scholar. The Award includes a $4,300 stipend to aid in continuing musical studies.

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy. Theodore Presser (1848 – 1925) rose from humble beginnings to become a respected music teacher and publisher. Familiar with the many challenges facing musicians, he established The Presser Foundation, which supports music performance and education through undergraduate and graduate scholar awards, operating and program support for music organizations, capital grants for music building projects, and assistance to retired music teachers.

Uzodinma, born in Madison, Miss, in 1995 to Eze and Cynthia Uzodinma, began studying the violin at the age of 8 at Madison Station Elementary. After studying privately with Thomas Chun-yu Chen, Rachel Jordan, Marta Szlubowska, and Dr. Amanda Roberts, he graduated with honors from Madison Central High School. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with Dr. Stephen Redfield in the Southern Miss School of Music.

Uzodinma has successfully maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.964 and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. In 2014, he was was awarded the USM Undergraduate Musician of the Year for strings.

“Oftentimes, I think that we as musicians through fear of the unknown question whether or not we are on the right track to succeed in the competitive realm of life as a professional musician,” said Uzodinma. “Receiving the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award means that I have earned the faith of my professors and that I should continue my path to becoming a professional concert violinist. I am truly honored to have been selected, and I feel blessed beyond measure; needless to say, the monetary gift is overwhelming.”

For information about the Southern Miss School of Music, visit