Introducing a new “Namesake Prize” in 2023:
The John Marien Prize
This is a new $4,000 prize for a notable soprano singer. This represents the donation from The Ewing Family in the name of their dear, late friend, Mr. John Marien of Harrisville, Michigan. Paul, Mary Sue, Juliet, Heidi, and PJ Ewing are so pleased to honor their life-long friend with this gift.
John was a “north woodsman” from Michigan who loved nature, all things Irish, and the vocal arts. Joni Mitchell, Carol King, Linda Rondstadt were favorites. And as he moved to Act III of his life he turned that love to the operatic soprano voice. Twice-yearly John would travel to New York, stay at The Mayflower Hotel, walk NYC by day, and see the opera by night. “It was a great love of his life,” said longtime friend, PJ Ewing.
More About “Big John”
John Wilson Marien, of Harrisville, Michigan (1942 – 2020) was a generous, curious and kind-hearted man, a voracious reader and cinephile who truly enjoyed the company of the members of his Harrisville community.
“Big John,” as some called him, worked almost two decades at Richard’s Pharmacy, and was always willing to help out on holidays and weekends. He was a solid member of the Harrisville community both as a pharmacist and a former part owner of Harbor Town pizza, where he relished being a part of a new business.
John also ventured far from home, making an annual visit to Ireland to both sightsee and connect with a newfound community of friends. He was passionate about classical music and journeyed to New York City regularly to enjoy a series of productions at The Metropolitan Opera House with fellow opera lovers.
A proud graduate of The University of Michigan, John earned a B.S. in Pharmacy (1965) and an M.B.A (1967). He remained a dedicated Wolverine football fan his entire life, enjoying all the Fall games with his university pals with whom he remained his life-long friends.
In the words of Juliet Ewing, “John was a dedicated life long opera lover, of both traditional and contemporary opera. John happily traveled long distances to enjoy glorious operative voices.”
THE GGF NAMESAKE PRIZE
For the 2023 Giulio Gari Vocal Competition, “Namesake Prizes” have been made available to donors for the first time. These special prizes will be awarded to notable singers in the name of a special individual named by the giver. These prizes begin at $2,000 and are tax deductible. If you are interested in setting up a 2023 GGF Namesake Prize, please reach out to our team using the form below.