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E. James "Jim" Forssell Music Scholarship

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E. James "Jim" Forssell

May 10, 1933 - December 25, 2012

The E. James Forssell $1,000.00 Music Scholarship was established in 1993 to help outstanding MHS music students who plan to pursue the study of music in college.  As a teacher, Jim's primary objective was to instill a love of music & this scholarship will, hopefully, help someone become a teacher of music.  Scholarship Applications may be obtained in the College & Career Office at MHS.  

Jim Forssell graduated from Samford University in 1959 with a Bachelors in Music Education and the University of Iowa in 1960 with a Master of Arts in Voice & Choral Literature and served his country with the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.  After graduation, he began his teaching career at Manatee, was Chairman of the Music Department for 33 years and retired after 34 years of dedicated services.  During his tenure, he expanded the original music program by starting several new classes; music theory, class voice, choraliers, male chorus, guitar and piano classes.  In addition, he taught the Girls’ Glee Club and the Manatee Singers. He began directing Broadway productions which were performed in the Davis Auditorium and when he retired, he had directed 20 Broadway shows. In January, 2003, the music building at MHS was named for him.   


Jim was inducted into the Florida Vocal Association Hall of Fame, was a member of numerous music associations and directed the Florida All-State Chorus twice as well as the Alabama State Chorus. He often served as clinician in vocal and choral workshops throughout the Southeast. Jim served as his Church Choir Director for 40 years as well as serving as Minister of Music for many local Churches.  We also knew him as the Voice of the Hurricanes at Hawkins Stadium for 47 years. 


We all have that teacher we never forget and Jim Forssell was that person for many MHS students. He was honorable, kind, patient and truly cared about his students leaving a great legacy they’ll never forget.  Jim Forssell was posthumously inducted into MHS Athletic Hall of Honor as a Contributor in 2020. 

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