Scholarships & Awards

Advance your music-making with scholarships.

Ensemble Scholarships for Music Lessons

Ensemble Scholarships for music lessons are available to all Occidental College students regardless of major. Scholarships are awarded by evaluation of several factors: musicianship, technical skill, participation in the life of the Music Department (by enrollment in ensembles and classes), and financial need. Scholarships can help cover or defray the cost of music lessons: $500 for half-hour lessons, $1000 for one-hour lessons, and $260 for class lessons (per semester).

Returning students desiring an Ensemble Scholarship must fill out a Music Lessons Scholarship Request Form available at the Music Department office. Auditions for scholarships are normally held at the end of the spring semester during juries and for incoming students during the first week of the fall semester. Students already taking lessons but not receiving an Ensemble Scholarship may use the spring jury time to audition for one. Scholarships are normally awarded for both semesters of the academic year.

2020-2021 Lesson Placement and Ensemble Scholarship Forms:

Voice | Instrumental Audition and Instrumental Video Submission

Certain students automatically receive Ensemble Scholarships:

  • Music majors of record receive scholarship support (half-hour lessons) for four semesters.
  • Music majors of record who are preparing junior or senior recitals receive an additional half-hour scholarship during their recital year.

Music majors of record may apply for an additional half-hour of Ensemble Scholarship support by requesting that their spring jury also be considered an audition for this additional scholarship support. The student must make this clear to the faculty at the time of the jury, and must bring the Music Lessons Scholarship Request Form to their jury.

All students receiving an Ensemble Scholarship are required to do the following during each semester they receive lessons:

  1. Enroll in and be an active participant in the faculty-led Music Department Ensemble that corresponds with their instrument.
  2. Prepare and perform a jury at the end of the semester.

NOTE: Failure to do either of the above will result in the loss of the Ensemble Scholarship.

Also note: Students who, in the opinion of their applied music teacher, are not fulfilling their practice responsibilities may lose their scholarship for the following semester.

To be eligible for an Ensemble Scholarship, you must be enrolled in one of the following ensembles depending on your instrument:

PIANO: Glee Club, College Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, Afro-Cuban Drumming, Son Jarocho, Jazz Ensemble
STRINGS: Symphony Orchestra
WINDS: Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble
BRASS: Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble
PERCUSSION: Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Afro-Cuban Drumming, Son Jarocho
GUITAR: Glee Club, College Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Afro-Cuban Drumming, Son Jarocho
VOICE: Glee Club, College Chorus

Department Awards

The Music Department presents the following annual awards:

The Warren Composition Awards are presented to students who have demonstrated significant achievement in musical composition. The awards are named for Elinor Remick Warren, an American composer who was associated with Occidental College. Awards are given for both acoustic and electronic compositions. Submission of compositions occurs in the Spring semester.

The Peters Memorial Prize is presented to the student who, in the opinion of the Music Faculty, has done the most during the year to advance the ideals and prestige of music on campus.

The Warren and Peters prizes include cash awards and are awarded at the Music Department dinner held at the end of the Spring Semester. 

The James F. and Marie E. English Award is a scholarship for voice lessons awarded to the most promising vocal students. Priority is given to music majors. Auditions for the English Award are held near the end of the spring semester before the academic year in which the award is granted.

The Marcia Hannah Farmer Award is a scholarship for lessons awarded to a promising voice student at Occidental.