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Bruce and Janna Greenhalgh: Music lovers lowering barriers for others

Bruce and Janna Greenhalgh

They’re called “Man Food Nights” – Boise-area meetings of mostly male musicians potlucking with hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks and chili. It was at one such gathering that Bruce Greenhalgh changed his mind about making a planned gift to a national music scholarship and decided to make that gift to the Marcellus Brown Band Scholarship at Boise State instead. The scholarship is named for Brown, Boise State’s director of bands, who is set to retire in 2023 after more than three decades at the university.

“Marcellus was talking about setting up this foundation and the bell went off,” Greenhalgh said.

He and Brown share a desire to make the study of music accessible for more students.

“When we lose students over $500 a semester, we lose a student who can keep our program growing,” Brown said. “We lose some of the best students because we can’t be competitive in the market. What the Greenhalghs are doing will allow us to do that. I won’t know or see who benefits from it, but we all know those students will remember it was there and came at a time when they desperately needed it.”

Music forms a throughline in Bruce Greenhalgh’s life. His mother was his first music teacher. He grew up to play in some of the U.S. military’s most prestigious bands. He continues to play the saxophone and mentors young musicians.

Janna Greenhalgh, a pilot specializing in cloud seeding — a method that causes clouds to produce rainfall — works in Idaho and Saudi Arabia.

“We identified what’s important to our universe and how we’re going to move that forward. Music, specifically jazz, is the center of what Bruce finds important in the world, and he’s going to do what he can to help someone else do better than him,” she said.

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