December 21, 2023


Morien (center) with his longtime guitar and banjo instructor Brian Miller (left) and Dennis Curley, Jim Curley's nephew (and singer/pianist for the Celtic Junction's Holiday Hooley). We are so grateful that the Curley family has committed to funding this scholarship for ten years.

Congratulations to Morien McBurnie for being chosen as the first recipient of the James M. Curley Memorial Scholarship! The scholarship, which is funded by the Curley family in honor of their beloved brother and uncle Jim, will fund an entire year of weekly music lessons for one student for a full year.

Recipients of the James M. Curley Memorial Scholarship must be eighteen or under at the beginning of the initial Fall term. The scholarship will be awarded to a student in at least their second year of studies showing exceptional talent, commitment, and persistence. The scholarship is available to students studying any instrument, including voice, for which lessons are currently offered at CIM. The scholarship will be awarded on a rotating basis in order to provide support for students of every instrument. No student shall be awarded the scholarship more than once, and there will be an effort to rotate instruments (for example, not award a scholarship to the same instrument more than once in 5 years).

About James M. Curley: Jim Curley was a writer, an editor, a lecturer, and a true lover of Irish music. His parents (Hugh Curley and Mary Joyce) were both born in County Mayo, Ireland, and emigrated to New Jersey in the 1920s. Jim was born in 1944 in Tenafly, NJ, and graduated from Bergen Catholic High School, Boston College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He made his home in Ship Bottom, NJ, where he was a member of the Long Beach Island Library Board and the president of the Amergael Club of Stafford Township. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Irish and Gaelic, and spent his Sundays listening to traditional and modern Irish music. His family will miss his infectious laugh and devilish sense of humor.