Centenary Fund for Scott Joplin Memorial

Ragtime scholar Dr. Edward A. Berlin (author of King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era and Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History) has established a fund to pay for a memorial bench beside Scott Joplin’s gravesite in East Elmhurst, NY. He writes:

The year 2017 will be the centennial of Scott Joplin’s death. He was interred in a community grave at St. Michael’s Cemetery, East Elmhurst, NY, on April 5, 1917. The grave remained unmarked until October 1974, when ASCAP installed a plaque.

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For the centennial, we plan to add a memorial bench at the gravesite. The installation will take place on May 27, 2017, after the cemetery’s annual Scott Joplin Memorial Concert. (The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will be performing.) We invite Scott Joplin fans and ragtimers who wish to contribute to this event to make donations, of any amount. Checks should be made out to St. Michael’s Cemetery (a non-profit, charitable organization), with “Scott Joplin Memorial” written in the memo space, and mailed to me [Dr. Edward Berlin] so that I can maintain a record of donors and donations; I will forward the checks to St. Michael’s. My address is 46 Meadow Ponds Circle, Miller Place, NY 11764.

Should Paypal be preferred instead of a check, payment must go to my email: [email protected] (Use the Friends and Family option to avoid Paypal fees.) I will then submit the appropriate check to the cemetery. I will make the complete record of donors and donations public after the installation. Donors’ names will be included unless they ask to be listed as anonymous.


Update: The bench is up, obviously, and you can visit it during the annual memorial concert held near the graveside in May. The page for 2018 is here. A page for later years can be found somewhere on the St. Michael’s website. You can read about the 2018 event in this story: Don’t Forget the Entertainer

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