Opportunities

Academic Opportunities

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

The Grinnell Music Department presents the following scholarships and competitive awards each year. PLEASE NOTE: every Grinnell student is entitled to one music lesson scholarship each semester. Winners of competitive awards will be recognized in the Commencement program when they graduate. In addition to these department-sponsored awards, ensembles such as the Grinnell Singers and the Fresh Flutes occasionally sponsor composition contests; winners have their pieces performed on the ensemble concerts.

 

Name of Award
(See below for more info)
Area Approx #
of awards
per year
Winners receive Eligibility Winners selected by Entry deadline
Music Major Benefit performance n/a music lesson scholarship: unlimited free music lessons of any type declared music major (automatic) end of add-drop each sem.
Grinnell College Music Scholarships performance n/a music lesson scholarship: $290/semester towards music lessons (= 75% of fee for 30-min lessons) non-majors (automatic) end of add-drop each sem.
Haglund Music Scholarships performance n/a music lesson scholarship: $290/semester towards music lessons (= 75% of fee for 30-min lessons) non-majors (automatic) end of add-drop each sem.
Curd Ensemble Scholarships performance 28 music lesson scholarship: $390/semester for 1 year (=100% of fee for 30-min lessons); tied to 1 year of participation in a Music Department Ensemble non-majors ensemble audition beg of fall semester
Hill Awards performance 8 music lesson scholarship: $390/semester for 1 year (=100% of fee for 30-min lessons); music majors and graduating seniors receive cash prize all students enrolled in lessons Hill audition March
Curd Outstanding Instrumentalist Instrumental performance 1 music lesson scholarship: $600/semester for 1 year (90% of fee for 60-min lessons) enter Hill; seniors not eligible Hill audition March

Frances Collins James Award for Vocal Performance

vocal performance 1 music lesson scholarship: $600/semester for 1 year (90% of fee for 60-min lessons) enter Hill; seniors not eligible Hill audition March

Grinnell Symphony Orchestra Soloists

performance 1-4 solo performance with GSO in spring see guidelines below GSO soloists audition October
Steiner Awards for Creativity in Music composition 1-3 cash prize all students score and/or recording of composition April
Steiner Awards for Creativity in Music research 1 cash prize all students oral presentation April
Ninth Semester Fellowship music (any area)

1

Stipend to remain on campus for 1 semester after graduating to complete an original project

graduating music major application essay and portfolio March
Music Major Benefit

All music majors may take an unlimited number of lessons of any type without charge. Majors must declare before the end of the add/drop period in order to receive free lessons for that semester.

Grinnell College Music Scholarships

On a trial basis for three years (2013-2016), all non-majors are automatically entitled to one music lesson scholarship of $290 per semester. This amount covers 75% of the fee for 30-minute lessons; or 44% of the fee for 60-minute lessons. These scholarships may not be combined with any other type of music lesson scholarship in the same semester.

Haglund Music Scholarships

These scholarships are made possible for a period of three academic years (2013-2016) through a generous bequest from the estate of Mariam B. Haglund '41. The benefits, eligibility, and requirements are identical to those of the Grinnell College Music Scholarships (see above).

Curd Ensemble Scholarships

The Curd endowed fund was established in 2003 through a bequest from Phyllis Lehmer Curd '28, who was a music major. Her hope was that those receiving the scholarship would later provide vocal and instrumental instruction in public schools. This portion of the Curd endowment was originally configured to provide music lesson scholarships to incoming students. In 2013, it was reconfigured to provide non-majors with music lesson scholarships tied to participation in selected Music Department Ensembles.

Winners receive a two-semester music lesson scholarship of $390/semester for the CURRENT academic year. This amount covers 100% of the fee for 30-minute lessons for one year, or 60% of the fee for 60-minute lessons. In exchange, winners agree to participate in an ensemble for both semesters (they are not required to register for the ensemble if doing so would incur overload fees). Curd Ensemble Scholarships may not be combined with any other type of music lesson scholarship in the same semester.

Curd Ensemble Scholarships are available for participation in the following ensembles: Oratorio Society, Grinnell Singers, Collegium Musicum, Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles. Winners are selected through auditions for these ensembles held at the beginning of the fall semester. For information about auditions, please consult the directors of the above ensembles.

Hill Awards in Music

This endowed prize was established in 1891 by Dr. James L. Hill D.D., class of 1871. It recognizes outstanding students in vocal and/or instrumental performance. Winners are selected through auditions held in the spring semester, judged by a panel of professional musicians from outside Grinnell College.

Winners who are music majors or graduating seniors receive cash prizes; all other winners receive a two-semester music lesson scholarship of $390/semester for the FOLLOWING academic year. This amount covers 100% of the fee for 30-minute lessons for one year, or 60% of the fee for 60-minute lessons. Hill Awards may not be combined with any other type of music lesson scholarship in the same semester. The top winners among the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd- year contestants in the Hill Auditions will receive the Curd Outstanding Instrumentalist Award and the James Outstanding Vocalist Award.

To be eligible for the Hill Awards, contestants must be enrolled in music lessons at Grinnell College during the current semester. Application forms  are due in March; auditions are held in April. The Music Department will provide a keyboard accompanist for contestants who need one. Those who require an accompanist must submit a copy of the keyboard part with their application; they are responsible for contacting Melinda Westphalen to arrange rehearsal times with the accompanist. Contestants should perform no more than six minutes of music, either excerpts or complete movement(s). If two or more shorter works are performed, they should be of contrasting styles. Contestants should provide two copies of the music (including accompaniment) for the judges on the morning of the competition.

For more information about the Hill Awards, please contact Eric McIntyre

Curd Outstanding Instrumentalist Award

This award was initially established by Leslie Stearns '87 in honor of Berneil Mueller, a longtime member of the Music Department staff. As a student at Grinnell, Leslie had worked with Ms. Mueller and valued the interest and support in students that she demonstrated. When the Curd Endowed Fund was established in 2003 (see above), this award received permanent funding and was renamed. The award recognizes the top instrumental contestant in the Hill Auditions.

The winner receives a two-semester music lesson scholarship of $600/semester for the FOLLOWING academic year. This amount covers most of the fee for 60-minute lessons; alternatively it may be applied to 30-minute lessons. To be eligible, contestants must enter the Hill Awards Competition. Seniors are not eligible for this award. Recipients must be in good academic standing.

James Award for Vocal Performance

This endowed fund was established in 1997 by Irma Cooper '34, former opera singer and professor at Ohio State, in memory of her Grinnell College friend and roommate, Frances Collins James '34. It was established to provide music lessons to the top vocal contestant among the returning students in the Hill Auditions.

The winner receives a two-semester music lesson scholarship of $600/semester for the FOLLOWING academic year. This amount covers most of the fee for 60-minute lessons; alternatively it may be applied to 30-minute lessons. To be eligible, contestants must enter the Hill Awards Competition. Seniors are not eligible for this award. Recipients must be in good academic standing.

Grinnell Symphony Orchestra Soloist Auditions

The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra invites eligible students to audition for an opportunity to perform as soloist with the Grinnell Symphony. Applications are due in October for the auditions held in November. Selected performers are featured on a GSO Concert the following spring.

The auditions are open to orchestral instrumentalists (and saxophonists), vocalists, guitarists, and pianists. Students auditioning on orchestral instruments must be members of the Grinnell Symphony. Pianists, guitarists, and vocalists must be enrolled in private lessons, and saxophonists may be either taking lessons or members of Symphonic Band or Jazz Ensemble.

Instrumentalists should prepare a single movement of a concerto or work for solo instrument and orchestra. Particularly short multi-movement works may be eligible but must be approved in advance. Vocalists should prepare one or two arias or songs (songs must have an orchestral accompaniment available). All selections must be approved by the director of the Grinnell Symphony in advance of the auditions.

Selection of soloists is determined by one or two judges in collaboration with the director of the Grinnell Symphony. Judges may choose to select one or more soloists to perform with the orchestra. In the case that no performances are deemed qualified, the judges reserve the right to select no candidate. For more information, contact Eric McIntyre.

Steiner Awards for Creativity in Music

The Steiner endowed awards were established in 1913 by Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Steiner in memory of their son Henry-York Steiner, who died as a teenager. Edward A. Steiner was the Rand Professor of Applied Christianity at Grinnell College from 1903 to 1941; Steiner Hall was named for him in 1959. Steiner Awards are also offered annually in the departments of English (short fiction) and Art (art history).

The Music Department awards Steiner prizes in two fields: composition and research. Students from any major at Grinnell College are eligible to compete; students may enter both the composition and research contests. Students must complete an Intent to Enter Form (due in April). Winners receive a cash prize and are honored at a luncheon with music faculty. For more information, please contact Tony Perman.

Steiner Awards for Music Composition

Compositions may be of any length, style, or genre (including electronic), and may have been performed or not. Contestants must submit one hard copy of their composition (if possible, both a score and a recording in CD format) and a short paragraph describing their compositional process. Entries will be judged by a composer from outside the Grinnell College community. One or more awards may be given, depending on the recommendation of the judge.

Steiner Award for Music Research

Research entries should demonstrate original thought on some musical topic; they may grow out of a class project and are not restricted to classes in the Music Department. The award will be made on the basis of an oral presentation only; a written version of the paper is not required. Presentations should last approximately 20-25 minutes, plus 20-25 minutes for discussion afterwards. Presentations will be judged by faculty outside the Music Department.

Ninth Semester Fellowship in Music

The Music Department offers an opportunity for continued independent study by a music major in the semester immediately following graduation. This fellowship provides some financial support for a semester of research or creative work to develop a stronger portfolio in preparation for graduate school or a career in music. In exchange, the Fellow is expected to serve the Department by assisting with minor class-related jobs, giving demonstrations in his/her discipline and/or presentations of work in progress when called upon, and presenting his/her work publically.

Applications, consisting of essay and portfolio, are due in March. The essay should describe the proposed project, how it contributes to the applicant's career plans, and why the Fellowship is necessary to complete the project. The portfolio should include three to five examples of the same type of work as proposed for the Fellowship (i.e. written compositions, recordings of performances, research papers, electronic compositions, etc.) The winner will be selected by the voting members of the Music Department. Click here for more information.

Curd Awards Competition

All incoming students – First-Year and Transfers – enrolled for private music lessons are eligible to audition for Curd Awards, which pay for the majority of music lesson fees for the current academic year.

Applications for auditions are due at noon on Friday, Septmber 7th. Auditions will take place on Saturday, September 15th, starting at 10 a.m., in Sebring-Lewis Hall.

  • Each contestant will perform no more than six (6) minutes of music that may be excerpts or complete movements. If two or more shorter works are performed, they should be of contrasting styles.
  • An accompanist will be provided, if needed. Attach a copy of the score to the form which will be given to the Coordinator of Accompanying. The Coordinator will contact you to set up rehearsals.
  • Submit completed form to BCA 162 front desk dropbox.
  • Contestants should provide two copies of the music for the judges on the morning of the competition.
  • Awards will be in the form of partial music lesson scholarships for the current academic year to be applied to your term bill.

Download Application Form

For more information, please contact Eric McIntyre.

 

Activities and Organizations

Private Music Lessons

For information about private music lessons, please see the Private Lessons page.

SEPC

The Student Educational Policy Committee, or SEPC, is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.