The Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Trust was established in 1996 to honor the memory and continue the legacy of Gary Wilmer by awarding scholarships to students who wish to pursue and education in music. Gary was the founder & publisher of RAM Magazine, a Rockford area music monthly, and a founding organizer of the RAMI awards. Joe Guzzardo, owner of Guzzardo Music, said of Gary, "He was thoughtful and sensitive, and thoroughly understood the problems and needs of local music and musicians." Gary could do it all, be it organizing benefits, booking bands, running sound or lights, helping new music club owners or encouraging new talent to persevere. As the president of his senior class at East High School, as a graduate of Rockford College and as a successful businessman, Gary's 43 years of living showed that education is a marvelous "conductor" of a successful musical life.

It is the sincere hope of the RAMI scholarship committee that the recipients of this scholarship will carry on Gary's legacy with pride.

Scholarship Selection Criteria
Graduating high school seniors from Boone, Ogle or Winnebago County who has a GPA of at least 2.5, plans to pursue a degree in music performance, education or composition, and is actively involved in school or community musical groups. Students must be nominated by a music teacher. Students must submit a performance CD. The case should be labeled with the student’s name, phone number, and scholarship name. Not to exceed five minutes.

Deadline February 1. For more information and online application forms, visit

Past Recipients

David Tallacksen  Bridget Gillenwater
Kyla Barber      Kausika Maddali
Laura Hogberg   Cassandra Johnson
Jill Heinke       Henry Solberg
Christopher Thomas Katie Colletta
Matt Ulery Colleen Denise Bartimoccia
Kira Wilke     Patricia Lee
Jill Moth    Michael Day
Emily Herdeman    Kathryn Schulz
Aminda Asher Michael Davis
Tarrah Evans Elizabeth Young
Karen Craig Lily Henley
Daniel Jansen Christine Knodle
Leah Asher Branton Cox
Madeline Herdeman Shannon Jeske 
Wesley Mouri Alex Liddell
Tim Perian Kalie J. Grable
Quinn David Furness Sarah Flygare
Ben Baldwin Emily Ahrens
Emma Knaup Candace McMurray





Kim & Ruth MacCloskey RAMI Music Scholarship

Past Recipents:
2014 - Erkan Bertram
2015 - Asia Ward
2016 - Isaac Leka
2017 - Alec Tilton
2018 - Brent Blaesing

RAMI Young Artists Music Scholarship

Past Recipents:
2014 - Jocie Nerius
2015 - Christian Collins
2015 - Jocie Nerius
2016 - Sarah Pearl Anderson
2016 - Gabe Roethle
2016 - Sinecio Morales
2017 - Sarah Pearl Anderson
2017 - Gabriel Roethle
2017 - Alfredo Vega


Verne K. Smith Music Scholarship

Past Recipients:
2014 - Christian Collins


RAMI Notes

Upcoming Events

RAMI Golf Play Day
Timber Pointe Golf Club
5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove

Castaways on the Rock
featuring the Gilligans and Olivia Dvorak
$20 advance / $25 at the door
5 pm - 10 pm

Rockford Guitar & Drum Show
Cliffbreakers Conference Center
700 W Riverside Blvd, Rockford

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