Ernie Scott ’74, ’76 finally has the grand piano in his living room he always dreamed of. Next to it, there is a light that he switches on each morning before sitting down to fill his home with vibrant sounds of the ivories.
“Music is what’s kept my life whole,” said Ernie, a pianist/ vocalist/actor/musical director/ composer. “I first sat down at a piano when I was six years old, and I haven’t stopped since. I am able to create my own style through the piano.”
To say Ernie’s career as a musician and performer is impressive would fall far short of encapsulating the depth of his greatness. His performances have been described as reminiscent of Ray Charles, with the flare of Liberace. He was the last pianist to perform at Windows on the World on the 107th floor of the North Tower before the 9/11 attacks. He continues to play the role of Paul Robeson ’s longtime pianist Lawrence Brown in the Broadway and off-Broadway play Paul Robeson. His musical performances are requested at political events, luxury cruises, and cocktail lounges, and his appearances include Bill Clinton ’s second inaugural event, Nightline with Ted Koppel, and 60 Minutes.
“I’ve been blessed to perform at so many memorable events and meet a lot of wonderful people, ” said Ernie, who once enjoyed an exclusive social dinner with Rosa Parks following a performance of Robeson in New Brunswick, NJ. “I still perform, but I don’t travel quite as much because I get homesick and miss my wife Donna (also a composer). ”
Ernie earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Master of Education from the College. He has consulted several New Jersey school districts on their music curriculum development, researched and written music history for elementary education textbooks, and served as director of numerous choirs, including the Vocal Dynamics, which performed a month-long tour in Japan in conjunction with the Sister Cities Program. Ernie still gives private voice lessons today.
“Gordon Myers was my voice teacher at Trenton State, and I loved him,” said Ernie, who performs regularly at Michael’s Lounge at the Buttonwood Manor in Matawan. “I have great connections to TCNJ and some terrific friendships.