Jim Kirkpatrick Scholarship

Jim was born and raised in Beloit and always loved music. He took piano lessons at an early age but after seeing Dino Danelli drum with The Young Rascals he wanted to play the drums! He started drum lessons at age 10 in the Beloit Public Schools. He had a fantastic teacher named John Langfelt that took him through Haskell Harr’s books 1 and 2. He was the featured soloist in Roosevelt’s Junior High Spring Concert and played the rudimental solos “The Downfall of Paris”. Which he admitted was quite intimidating but awesome! He really wanted to play drum set but according to Jim, he had to earn it gradually; first a snare, then a bass drum and mounted tom-tom, etc. until he had a full drum set. He stayed with the school band program and played in Concert Band, Marching Band, Stage Band and worked on snare drumming and drum set. While in high school he met organist Jim Peterman, who was living in Beloit after playing with The Steve Miller Band! Playing with him was an education in R&B, Gospel, and Jazz. Jim Peterman was his mentor and he learned so much about drumming by playing with him. Their friendship remained until Jim’s death in 2021. Jim moved to Madison, Wisconsin and entered the University of Wisconsin music program with the idea of becoming a music teacher. He studied mallet instruments and tympani with master percussionist Jim Latimer. During the time he was in Madison, he performed with well known- Milwaukee blues band Short Stuff. He travelled extensively and recorded several albums with the Short Stuff band. He learned a great deal about playing drums from harmonica virtuoso Jim Liban and front man of the popular band. He always felt lucky to have those experiences early in his development, and he continued to play drums for over 40 years. He’s pursued the life-long tasks of working on technique and coordination and studied as many of the drumming masters as possible. Jim will be remembered for his wit, love of family but most of all his love of music and drumming.


  • Be a graduating senior at Beloit Memorial High School
  • Be a member of BMHS Band; strong preference will be given to jazz band percussionists