James R. Staten is a man of note.

James R. Staten is a man of note.

The 75-year-old learned to play the saxophone in fifth grade and spent four years as a member of the Airmen of Note, the Air Force jazz band. By 1966, he became music coordinator for the South-Western school district.

He retired in 2006 and is a substitute teacher and freelance musician for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

To honor his life's achievements, community members have organized a free concert with hopes of establishing a scholarship to help people find jobs.

The concert, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 7 at the Grove City United Methodist Church at 2684 Columbus St., will feature the Grove City Chamber Singers, Grove City High School jazz band and Grove City Community Winds.

Organizers hope to receive donations for the concert to establish the James R. Staten Scholarship. Scholarships will be used to help pay for enrollment in career classes at the New Directions Career Center, 199 E. Rich St., Columbus.

Cindy Kazalia, a placement specialist with the career center, said she grew up in Grove City. Staten was her principal when she attended Brookpark Middle School.

"He's a remarkable man," Kazalia said. "He's a remarkable educator."

Staten also volunteers at the career center. Kazalia said she wanted to give thanks to Staten for all he's done for the community. She said establishing a scholarship to benefit job seekers in the South-Western school distict is one way to do that.

complish it.

"Part of this is a way to give back to the community," Kazalia said. "The need right now is just so great."

James Swearingen, renowned music composer and arranger, said Staten is a "wonderful citizen of our community that we should be proud of."

Swearingen directs the community winds. Staten is a member of the musical group.

"In addition to being one of the most outstanding musicians (Staten) is just a wonderful person," Swearingen said.

George Edge, director of Grove City High School bands, said Staten is a "fantastic musician" and a "wonderful person.

"He's done so much for South-Western City Schools over his lifetime," Edge said.

Staten, however, didn't feel he deserved all the positive attention.

"I'm not the type of person who wants to get my name out there and get notoriety for it," he said.

But if it helps people in the school district find jobs, then Staten said he's willing to receive a little notoriety.

"I want (the scholarship) to be a help to other people," he said. "That's the bottom line of this whole thing."