Four U.K. Royal Academy of Music students have received scholarships from a $1.78 million endowment established by Elton John, who studied at the London institution as a boy. John, who launched the endowment fund to help youths from deprived backgrounds, was quoted by The [London] Times as saying: "For quite some time I have tried to find a way to repay my debt to the academy." The singer-songwriter staged a gala concert at the Royal Opera House with an orchestra to help raise the money for the scholarships, which range from $1,780 to $17,808. "This is very, very exciting and fantastic for the students," Peter Craik, the school's communications manager, said Wednesday. "It is not just a matter of funding for Elton. He also wants to take a personal interest in the students as individuals. Elton wants to follow their progress and give them advice all the way." (AP)
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