School of Music Scholarships
Scholarship opportunities are available for music students seeking additional opportunities and support. Learn more about how you can apply for scholarships through the School of Music.Find Scholarships
Any Music Major
Alycia and Hans Fuchs Scholarship
This endowment was established in 2000 by Helmuth Fuchs in memory of his parents. The scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in music who has demonstrated strong academic achievement. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Charles Bolen Music Faculty Scholarship
This endowment was established in 1992 by Charles Bolen, professor emeritus and former dean of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts at ISU. The scholarship is awarded to a current music major who has demonstrated qualities of leadership and service to the department in addition to good musicianship and scholarship. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Florence Runyan & Benny Kemp Endowed Music Scholarship
Awarded to any current student in the School of Music who demonstrates outstanding merit, scholarship and talent. The student must have an overall GPA of 3.00 or above.
Herb Sanders Scholarship
Awarded to a sophomore, junior, or senior music major based on merit and/or need. The student must have a GPA of 3.00 or above.
Friends of the Arts Scholarships
These scholarships are made available through the efforts of the Friends of the Arts organization. They are generally granted to continuing majors in art, arts technology, music, theatre and dance, who are evaluated on their academic achievement, artistry and service to the School.
This scholarship covers partial costs of tuition or fees. Generally, they are awarded based upon academic achievement, outstanding achievement in your major and service to the School.
Donna Merris, Class of 1961, was the first female student director of the annual musical. Upon graduation she was a teacher, conductor and performer in Massachusetts Public Schools. She later became a lawyer and judge in New York City. The scholarship recipient should be an undergraduate music major with preference given to a female instrumentalist with a 3.5 GPA.
The Hope Scholarship is so named because Illinois State University School of Music students represent our best hopes and dreams for the future. The donors desire the scholarship convey heart felt gratitude to the recipients for carrying forward the gift of music with exemplary talent, skill, and determination.
John R. Hansing Memorial Scholarship
This endowment was established in 2001 by Dr. Frank D. Hansing in memory of his brother John R. Hansing, a 1938 graduate of Illinois State Normal University. The scholarship is awarded to a freshman student majoring in music, with preference to a student with a string concentration. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Mary Jo Brown Scholarship
This endowment was established in 1990 by Betty Robertson in memory of her sister, Mary Jo Brown. The scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior music major who has demonstrated outstanding service to the department, as well as exceptional musical talent. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Peithman Music Scholarship
In 1976 Harlan W. Peithman established a fund in the ISU Foundation which has since grown into a fully endowed scholarship in the field of music. Students applying for the Peithman Scholarship must be an upper-division music student (junior or senior), have at least a 3.0/4.0 grade point average, and have demonstrated special academic merit and/or special need (assuming other criteria are met). Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Presser Foundation Scholarship
This is the School of Music's most prestigious scholarship. It is a one year award given to an outstanding music major at or after the end of his or her junior year. Selection is guided solely by consideration of excellence and merit without regard to race or sex. The student is designated a Presser Scholar.
More Music Funding Opportunities
Generally, new music majors (new first-year and new transfers) receive priority in the awarding of Tuition Scholarships by the School of Music. For incoming students, these awards are based upon the evaluations of performance auditions, written tests, academic potential, and the needs of the School. Talent scholarships vary from one-time awards of $500 through annually renewable scholarships of $6,000. All undergraduate students who perform an entrance audition are automatically considered for scholarship. Current Illinois State students who wish to be considered for a talent scholarship must submit the Current Student Scholarship Application.
Friends of the Arts Academic Support Grants
The Friends of the Arts offer grant support to Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts students for their student-led creative projects, research, events and visiting artists. Grants are available for individuals and groups. Learn more and find out how you can apply.
Music Therapy Majors
Marjorie A. Reeves Music Research Scholarship
This fund was established in 1987 by Marjorie A. Reeves, '1945, to be awarded to a music therapy major.
Music Education Majors
Dr. Lloyd W. Farlee Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a current voice student majoring in Music Education. The recipient must be in good standing in the School of Music and exhibit outstanding merit as a music student.
Gertrude Erbe Scholarship
Awarded to a student intending to be a school music teacher in the choral-general music curriculum. The student must be at least a sophomore, in good standing in all areas of course work and show potential for working with students.
Lloyd and Eleanor Fengel Scholarship
Awarded to a student who demonstrates exceptional musical promise and a strong commitment to a career in music education.
Robert C. and Susan Lee Walling Music Education Scholarship
Established by Robert C. and Susan Lee Walling, this award recognizes an incoming vocal music education major with strong performance capability/potential who has a minimum high school GPA of 3.00/4.00. Recipients should have financial need and reflect a spirit for civic engagement by showing involvement and leadership in school/campus organizations, registered student organizations, government, or similar organizations in the broader community.
Eric R. Baber Fellowship
The purpose of this grant program is to nurture the highest possible quality of excellence in graduate students in the fine arts. The main focus of the grant is to help develop top-notch individual performers and to enhance Illinois State University’s prestige as a place where the very finest musicians and artists study and perform.
Ray Johnson Endowed Scholarship
Awarded to any deserving [graduate] student in art, music or theatre.
Raymond D. Bessmer Fellowship Fund
Raymond D. Bessmer, a 1943 graduate, was involved in many music and theatrical performances and was especially skilled as a pianist, and was a member of the student organization, The Black Friars. Recipients will be music graduate students who show promise of becoming a professional musician with strong performance-based experience.
Bernard Eichen Scholarship
Established in memory of ISU violin professor Bernard Eichen. It is awarded to the most promising Illinois State University violin student.
Bassoon and Oboe Majors
Professor Russell B. Bedford Scholarship in Music
Awarded to an undergraduate music major with bassoon or oboe as a primary instrument (though consideration could be given to other woodwinds). Preference is given to incoming freshmen or transfer students.
James Major and Amy Gilreath Music Scholarship
This fund was established in 2007 by Amy Gilreath, an accomplished and internationally recognized trumpet performer and professor of music at Illinois State University, and James Major, Dean Emeritus of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, who has had a distinguished career in music and music education spanning four decades. Each candidate must be accepted or enrolled at Illinois State, be engaged as a student in trumpet as a declared music major or by having indicated an intention to declare a major in music, and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Tuba and Euphonium Majors
Grand-Puba-Tuba Low Brass Fund
Ed Livingston taught at ISU from 1968-1997 and served as director of bands from 1977-1984. Ed built the 90-member band into the 454-member Big Red Marching Machine, which held a record in the Guinness Book of World Records. Ed was honored during Homecoming 2007 for being the first director of the Big Red Marching Machine. Each candidate for an Erin Ann Livingston Tuba Scholarship and the Samantha Marie Livingston Euphonium Scholarship must be or have: accepted for enrollment or enrolled in good standing at ISU; outstanding musical achievement, as evidenced by School of Music admission audition or through outstanding performance in studio and ensemble; music major or minor; enrolled in Tuba-Euphonium Studio; full-time student; and use the scholarship for educational expenses, tuition, and fees, housing, books, and classroom materials. Assets of this endowment are invested in the ISU Endowment Investment Pool.
Barbara G. Wiltberger Scholarship
This endowment was established in 1984 in memory of Barbara Wiltberger, a 1973 graduate of Illinois State University, by her parents, Richard and Grace Wiltberger. The scholarship is awarded to a new or continuing music student in a major performing ensemble who primarily sing soprano or alto. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Illinois Federation of Music Clubs Golden Lyre Scholarship
The Illinois Federation of Music Clubs, a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, presents an annual award to an Illinois State University vocal music student on behalf of the Golden Lyre Foundation. This organization sponsors a state and national competition for vocal majors with monetary awards and booking opportunities.
John Jay Ireland Scholarship
Awarded to a sophomore, junior, or senior with an overall minimum grade point average of 3.33. Special consideration should be given those students who show strong interest in Opera.
John Ferrell Scholarship
This endowment was established in 2003 by John and Audrey Ferrell to recognize a talented member of the madrigal singers. The scholarship is awarded to a student who has been a respected member of the madrigals for at least one year, and demonstrated exceptional talent in vocal music and leadership among peers. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
Mary Bilyeu Scholarship
This endowment was established in 1978 to honor Mary Bilyeu. The scholarship is awarded to a madrigal singer who displays the qualities of Mary Bilyeu, specifically sincerity, competency, dependability, and creativity. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.
National Federation of Music Clubs Orpheus Scholarship
The Orpheus Music Club is a local chapter of the National Federation of Music Clubs. The club annually provides a scholarship to be awarded to a deserving undergraduate or graduate student whose major instrument is piano. Preference is for someone with an interest in piano teaching. Selection is at the discretion of the piano faculty.