We are pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for instrumental orchestral, and choral musicians in support of our large ensembles on campus. These scholarships are for full-time entering freshmen who display strong musical talent and start at $2,500/year (the scholarships are renewable). You do not need to be a music major to receive a scholarship. Scholarship recipients will be obliged to perform in one of our large instrumental performing ensembles, which include the Pep Band, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Choral Society, and Chamber Singers. Even if you are an extremely talented musician, we can only award scholarships to students who are able to participate in these large ensembles.
There are also academic scholarships available to Music Majors concentrating in Music Composition and Technology, and Music Industry. If interested, please contact Professor Allison Cockshaw-Betsold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVERYONE interested in the Wind Ensemble, Choral, Orchestral, or Pep Band scholarships must first prepare an electronic video audition. If you are competitive for a scholarship, we may ask to see you in person, or to do a second round by Skype/FaceTime if you’re not available when we are. Students should prepare two excerpts in contrasting styles – one technical and one lyrical. Each excerpt should be no longer than two minutes in length. You do not need to play scales. All submissions will be viewed by Professor Allison Cockshaw-Betsold. Additionally, Wind/Brass/Percussion audition videos will be reviewed by Professor Allen Feinstein, NU’s Director of Bands, Choral submissions by Prof. Joshua Jacobson, and String submissions by Prof. Evan Bennett.
Video auditions should be posted on YouTube and a link should be emailed to Allison Cockshaw-Betsold. You may decide to make your video private so that only someone with the direct link can view your video. In the email with the link please include your name, address, and the ensemble(s) you are interested in. A phone interview may also be required as part of the audition. Please see the FAQ below for further information.
More information regarding the Music Industry and Music Comp/Tech scholarships coming very soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need to be a music major to get a scholarship?
A. No. All full-time entering freshmen are eligible.
Q. Do I need to submit a letter of recommendation?
Q. Are there scholarships for concert band instruments?
A. Yes. Eligible instruments include any standard concert band instrument including, but not limited to, flute, piccolo, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, percussion, double bass. (In the case of the Pep Band, we are also interested in Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Drum Set. VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Please select two contrasting pieces demonstrating technique and musicality.
Q. Is my scholarship renewable?
A. Scholarships are renewable on a semester to semester basis. If you continue to meet the requirements put in place by your ensemble director your scholarship will remain in tact. If you fail to meet the course requirements, your director reserves the right to withdraw your scholarship.
Q. Can I receive the scholarship while on co-op?
A. If you are on co-op, but are still involved with your designated ensemble, your scholarship will continue to be applied. If you are not able to participate in your ensemble during your co-op, your scholarship will be placed on hold and will be reactivated once you are able to re-enroll.
Q. Are there scholarships for violinists, violists, cellists, or upright bassists?
A. Yes. Students receiving a scholarship will be expected to perform as a member of the NU Symphony Orchestra. VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Please select two contrasting pieces demonstrating skill and musicianship.
Q. Are there scholarships for singers?
A. Yes. Students receiving a scholarship will be expected to sing as a member of the NU Choral Society and the NU Chamber Singers (or, if appropriate, another faculty directed vocal ensemble). VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Please sing two songs of contrasting genres. An accompanist is preferred, though not mandatory
Q. I am a percussionist. How should I prepare my audition?
A. Percussionists auditioning for Wind Ensemble and/or Symphony Orchestra should show examples of playing concert snare drum, mallet percussion, and timpani.
Q. I am a drum set player. How should I prepare my audition?
A. Drummers should exhibit knowledge of several different groove styles including, but not limited to, rock and roll, pop, funk, and swing. Players should also demonstrate the ability to solo in a pop-rock style.
Q. Are there scholarships for guitarists?
A. Yes. In the case of the Pep Band, we are considering guitarists with a strong background in rock and roll, pop, funk, and jazz. You must be able to read music (both notation and chord changes) and have a strong concept of the guitarists’ role within the rhythm section, and with the various tones that are capable from the pickups, pedals, and amps available. VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Please play two contrasting songs (I recommend songs from different decades) that demonstrate knowledge of style, comping patterns, great guitar tones, and aggressive playing. Although the ability to solo is a plus, it is of secondary interest.
Q. Are there scholarships for bass guitarists?
A. Yes. In the case of the Pep Band, we are considering bass guitarists with a strong background in rock and roll, pop, funk, and jazz. You must be able to read music (both notation and chord changes) and have a strong concept of the bass guitarists’ role within the rhythm section, and with the various tones that are capable from the pickups, pedals, and amps available. VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Please play two contrasting songs (I recommend songs from different decades) that demonstrate impeccable time, knowledge of style, great tone, and aggressive playing. We’re looking for great rhythm section playing, not solo bass etudes.
Q. Are there scholarships for pianists?
A. Pianists should not apply for the scholarship unless they are very experienced JAZZ players. For example, if you have been selected for All-State as a jazz pianist, it is recommended that you apply. If you have no or little experience as a jazz player, it is not recommended that you apply. Demonstrated knowledge of a synthesizer and all the sounds available as it relates to pop music is a plus.
Q. I play several instruments. Should I audition on all of them?
A. In general, it is advisable to show all the instruments you play proficiently and to demonstrate your skills on all of them. (If you play different saxophones, it is sufficient to audition on just one).
Q. Who can I contact for more information?
A. If you have questions about the musical part of the audition, or questions about our program, and audition scheduling, email Allison Cockshaw-Betsold.