Music & Dance

Scholarships and Awards

Available each year are twelve Music Honors Scholarships, each carrying a minimum of $2,000 and renewable for up to a total of four years. The honors scholarships are awarded to outstanding new music majors in performance and composition. Freshman music majors and transferring majors are eligible. Honors scholarships are awarded on the basis of achievement and potential in performance (by audition) and composition (portfolio). Students are expected to enter and maintain performance at the level of Bachelor of Music degree students, although they may elect the B.A., B.M., or B.M.E. degree curricula. Click here for audition dates. Honors Scholarship awards may be combined with music ensemble awards, as well as with general university academic awards.

Ensemble Performance Awards - For Majors and Non-Majors

Gierst-Egler Awards up to $500 to band instrumentalists. These awards require an audition and participation in an ensemble. Students may also elect private study on an instrument.

Branstrom Awards up to $500 to outstanding musicians, with special consideration given to pianists and singers. These awards require an audition and participation in a major choral ensemble. Students may also elect private study.

Orchestra Awards from $500-$1,000 to string, woodwind, brass, percussion, and piano/harpsichord players. Audition and participation in orchestra are required. Students may also elect private study.

Jazz Orchestra Awards up to $1,500 to outstanding jazz musicians with excellent improvisational skills. Requires participation in Studio Jazz Orchestra and small ensembles, and private study.

Chamber Orchestra Awards up to $1,500 to outstanding string players. Requires participation in University-Community Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, and private study.

Vocal/Keyboard Awards up to $1,000 each to one soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and two pianists with excellent accompanying skills. Audition and participation in GVSU Singers and/or Festival Chorale are required. Students may also elect private study.

Individual Music Scholarships

Arthur C. Hills Music Scholarship: Awards of $1,500 to music majors to be used during the junior or senior year by a music major. Requires audition, nomination by a GVSU music faculty member, self-evaluative paper, 3.0 GPA, and two letters of recommendation from GVSU faculty members, including one from the performance instructor. The deadline is March 1. Please submit all materials to the music office with application form.

Alexandar Calder Honors Scholarship: A division-wide fine and performing arts open to third-year students who have completed between 54 and 96 semester hours and are majors in Art & Design, Dance, Film & Video, Music Photography or Theatre. The scholarship is an award of at least $1000 applied toward tuition at Grand Valley State University, the exact amount depending on the yield on the scholarship endowment in a given year. Requires a personal statement from the candidate explaining something of what his/her art means to him/her, and of what the candidate hopes that his/her audience will gain from that art, current GVSU transcript, three letters of recommendation (one of which must be a music faculty member) and supplementary materials. The deadline is March 1. Please submit all materials to the music office with application form. A more detailed announcement is available each February.

Edith Blodgett Piano Scholarship: Awards of $1,000 minimum to outstanding freshman pianists in either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree program. Required are an audition, self-evaluative paper and letter of recommendation. Deadline for application is April 1.

Margaret Ward Music Education Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to a full-time Bachelor of Music Education major with a 3.0 or higher GPA who has completed the Mid-Program Review and all core music courses prior to the semester in which the application is submitted. The recipient will be chosen on the basis of academic achievement, professional promise as a future educator based on an essay outlining educational/pre-professional goals for the coming school year, two letters of recommendation from the music faculty, and financial need. Students must have a current FAFSA, which demonstrates financial need, on file with the Financial Aid office. Deadline: March 1. Please submit all materials to the music office with application form.

Upper Division Scholarships - For Music Majors

Upper Division Scholarships recognize achievement beyond the first year and encourage continuing high levels of performance. Students must be full-time music majors and have completed at least 30 credit hours. The deadline is March 1. Please submit all materials to the music office with application form.

Additional Opportunities

Note: All students entering GVSU with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and a minimum ACT composite score of 26, receive an automatic $1,000 grant. Further opportunities are open to honors students. For a comprehensive university-wide listing of scholarships and grants available to students, request the pamphlet on scholarships available from the Admissions Office or Financial Aid.

Opportunities for employment through the Department of Music include student aide.s, ensemble librarians, student supervisors, student monitors for the Music Technology Lab, studio manager, and more. Check with ensemble directors for further information relative to these employment opportunities.

Most of these and additional employment opportunities are available through the Federal Work-Study Program, and the opportunities are generous to those who qualify (qualification is based upon need). The Department of Music engages a number of students under this program, but assignment is made from the Financial Aid Office in the Student Services Building. The Music Department can provide information about opportunities under this program. Phone: (616) 331-3484.

For further information on audition appointments and procedures, prospective students are invited to call Valerie Stoelzel at (616) 331-3678 or email

For further information on scholarships, prospective students are invited to call Charlyn Worthem at (616) 331-3484 or email

1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401-9403

Page last modified May 16, 2013