Pat DiNizio

The Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship

Established in 2018 after the passing of New Jersey Hall Of Famer and co-founder of The Smithereens, the Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship aims to make music education accessible to any young person wishing to enroll in classes at the Count Basie Center for the Arts or any affiliated music program. “The Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship offers a wonderful way to keep his spirit alive and pass along his passion for music and self-expression to enlighten young musicians for generations to come.” said The Smithereens drummer and co-founder Dennis Diken.


Launched in the Fall of 2018, the goal is to provide up to two promising music students with full or partial scholarships to the Count Basie Center Academy of the Arts, including programs in its School Of Music or Performing Arts, the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, the Jazz Arts Project, or any other future program that creates a formal partnership with the Basie Center.

Eligibility Criteria

Scholarships are awarded to students ages 18 and under for music/music performance programs offered through Count Basie Center for the Arts and its partner programs.


  • 9/15/23: Announce annual scholarship in conjunction with The Smithereens’ performance at Concerts On The Green
  • 11/15/23: Deadline for applicants to submit for consideration
  • 11/15-19/23: Internal review of candidates and selection of semi-finalists
  • 11/20/23: Present of finalists to Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken of The Smithereens
  • 12/1/23: Announce recipients