Scholarship Honoring Bernice Ash Brings Emerging Professionals to The NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

Established in 2021, the Bernice Ash Memorial Award “honors the remarkable life and legacy of Bernice Ash, a music retail visionary who spearheaded the expansion of the Sam Ash family-owned music stores, broadening inventory for the chain across multiple new categories.”

The annual award provides students and up-and-coming industry leaders with a gift to support professional development, including funds supporting tuition and training opportunities. In addition to this, the Bernice Ash Memorial Award will assist the recipients with a one-time travel stipend to attend The NAMM Show for the first time since its establishment. Awardees also participate in a one-year mentorship program through the NAMM Young Professionals (NAMM YP), a group dedicated to connecting like-minded peers, building solid business relationships, and facilitating learning opportunities with industry veterans. More information about the award can be found at /playback/advancing-music-making/bernice-ash-honored-memorial-award.

Bernice Ash

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Two emerging professionals, Kwante Greenidge, Genrral Manager of Sam Ash Music and Anna Nguyen, Digital Marketing Analyst at Yamaha will attend The NAMM Show in June, thanks to the lasting memory of Bernice Ash.

Nguyen began her journey with the company as an intern with its in-house creative agency. Today, Nguyen uses her skillset to “tell compelling stories using tangible statistics.” Her resume includes assisting in the facilitation of the Girl Meets Guitar, a program offering casual guitar lessons to women and girls; serving within the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Association to address the unique struggles AAPI individuals face in the music industry; and serving as an editor and research assistant with Sound Diplomacy, an organization responsible for ground-breaking music policy and enrichment of music-based economies. Nguyen hopes to use the award to continue her education at Berklee College of Music and one day become a “solutions-based music organizer with an intersectional lens tuned into amplifying marginalized voices.”

Nguyen said, “It is an honor to receive the Bernice Ash Memorial Award. I look forward to carrying on Bernice's legacy as she made a powerful impact within the music retail world. Winning this award is not only a personal accomplishment; it is an opportunity to honor Bernice as I intend to continue the award's legacy and uplift other exceptional people making an impact in our industry.”

With the much-anticipated return of The NAMM Show, Nguyen is anxious to share the joys of music and grow professionally with her peers in Anaheim. “The NAMM Show is a time when I can personally see the impact of my work, and I can engage in my favorite aspect of music, collaborating in our professional community. The shared musical moments like Yamaha’s All-Star Concert on the Grand Plaza Stage or the drum circles remind us why music is so powerful and should be protected and championed. I expect this year’s NAMM Show will be particularly moving as it’s been so long since we’ve gathered, and I can’t wait to be face-to-face with fellow music lovers.”

Despite never meeting Ash, Nguyen reflects on the countless stories about her impact on the industry and plans to honor her legacy by enhancing her leadership skills at Yamaha and throughout her future endeavors. A goal only aided by her return to The NAMM Show.

For more information on the Bernice Ash Memorial Award and to attend The NAMM Show, please visit and /thenammshow/2022/attend.