Trading Four: From left, Isaiah Nygard, Sashank Sridhar, Cormick Costello, Joel Evans.

Chuck Loeb was all about musical collaboration whether he was performing live or recording in a studio.
Chuck was a master at creating swinging, improvised, musical conversations — trading fours — with other members of the band.
That’s why Chuck would be very pleased to know that the inaugural winner of the Chuck Loeb Memorial Scholarship is a collaborative ensemble called “Trading Four” comprised of accomplished musicians from Berks high schools.
Trading Four is Joel Evans, drummer, senior at Muhlenberg High; Sashank Sridhar, tenor sax, senior at Wilson High; Isaiah Nygard, piano, sophomore at Kutztown High; and Cormick Costello, bass, sophomore at Gov. Mifflin High. Evans, Sridhar, Nygard, and Costello connected while crossing paths at county and district band events and local school jazz fests. A friendship was born based on their love of jazz and a desire to make a difference in the community, which led to the formation of Trading Four.
Trading Four was selected for the scholarship after the Reading Musical Foundation’s auditions on March 24, at Albright College.
All four musicians also have been individual RMF scholarship winners. “The Chuck Loeb Memorial Scholarship truly represents the best of the Berks Arts Council and the Reading Musical Foundation,” said RMF president Keri Shultz. “It recognizes excellence in jazz, giving ensemble experience to area student musicians, which is our mission for this unique award. “We are so proud of Trading Four. We have watched these students develop musically for over a decade. They are an inspiration to students and adults alike.”
Chuck passed away in 2017 after a battle with cancer. He was a creative force with the fest in many ways for nearly 20 years. His friendly, easy-going nature personified the spirit of the fest.
To continue Chuck’s legacy, the Berks Arts Council and Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest established the Chuck Loeb Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is being administered by the RMF.
The scholarship will be given annually to Berks students to support their music education plans after high school. The presentation of the $1,000 scholarship was made when Trading Four opened for the Chuck Loeb Memorial All-Star Jazz Jam at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading.
“Chuck meant so much to the fest,” said John Ernesto, Berks Jazz Fest general manager. “We miss him terribly, especially this time of the year. The scholarship is a great way to honor his memory by giving back to jazz education.
“We congratulate Trading Four for being the first recipient of the scholarship and look forward to seeing them perform during the fest.”