Each year the Music Department offers the following academic awards:
The Richard Ross Memorial Award: This award, recognizing a senior music major, honors Richard Ross who, in his lifetime, was an internationally celebrated organ recitalist, a gifted teacher, and a dedicated Presbyterian Church musician. For a list of past Richard Ross Memorial Award recipients, please click here.
The Rufus Hallmark Writing Award: Named after the distinguished musicologist Rufus Hallmark, Davidson class of 1965, this award recognizes the best essay on a musical topic written in the previous year. For a list of past Rufus Hallmark Writing Award recipients, please click here.
The Wilmer Hayden Welsh Prize in Composition: Awarded for the best original music composition by a Davidson student. Established in 2006 in honor of Wilmer Hayden Welsh, Composer and Professor of Music from 1963-1991. For a list of Wilmer Hayden Welsh Prize recipients, please click here.
The Department awards several scholarships annually, all of which are available irrespective of a student's major.
Scholarships for Entering Students
The Donald B. Plott and J. Estes Millner Scholarships, valued at $10,000 annually, are offered to up to three students in each entering class. The awards are renewable for the recipients' remaining three years at Davidson, provided they maintain a strong academic performance, make expected progress toward their degree, and meet the requirements listed below.
Based upon submitted Special Application and audition materials, approximately 10 to 15 students are invited to the campus to audition during Scholars Celebration and Decision Davidson Weekend. Plott and Millner Scholars also receive a Harper Lesson Scholarship that provides for on-campus, 60-minute applied music lessons for credit.
Students wishing to apply for the Plott and Millner Scholarships must submit the following by the deadline date of their chosen application plan: Early Decision I - November 15; Early Decision II or Regular Decision - January 2.
1. The Special Application Scholarship Form; submissions without this application will not be considered for the scholarships.
2. A letter discussing your interest in the award.
3. A letter of recommendation from you rcurrent music teacher.
4. An unedited CD or DVD recording. Please do not send sound files as email attachments.
- Recordings should be approximately 10 minutes in length.
- Recordings should not contain any exercises or scales.
- For optimal evaluation, care should be given to the recording environment and quality.
- Recordings of recitals or concerts are acceptable; however, the quality of the recording should be taken into consideration by the applicant before submission.
- See Music Selection Guidelines below to guide preparation of your audio submission.
Music selection guidelines are the same for both the music scholarship recording submission and the on-campus audition.
Requirements for Scholarship Recipients:
- Take applied music lessons for credit with Davidson College music faculty, one hour a week on the instrument auditioned.
- Earn a grade of B in each semester's jury and a grade of B or better in applied lessons each semester.
- Participate fully each semester, including tours and graduation weekend performances, in the ensemble appropriate for the instrument auditioned and earn a positive recommendation from the ensemble director.
- Serve as usher for a minumum of two of the department's major concerts each semester.
- Participate in Scholars Weekend by attending appropriate functions and serving as hosts for Music Scholar guests.
Scholarships for Continuing Students
Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors may audition for the Zachary F. Long and Vail Family Scholarships. Long and Vail scholars will also receive a Harper Lesson Scholarship that provides for on-campus, 60-minute applied music lessons for credit.
Pending availability of funds, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors may also audition for separate awards that subsidize half the cost of on-campus applied music lessons (MUS 55 or MUS 155–355).
Applications and Guidelines will be available in mid February thru the Music Office. The competition will be held toward the end of March. See below music selection guidelines.
Music Selection Guidelines for First Year and Continuing Student Scholarships
FOR PIANO: Three selections performed from memory.
- One movement or work from the Baroque era
- One from a Classical sonata
- One from the Romantic era
FOR VOICE: Three contrasting songs or arias performed from memory.
- One Italian art song or aria from the 17th or 18th centuries
- One song in English from any period (excluding musical theater)
- One work of the singer's choice.
All selections must be performed in their entirety, although long instrumental accompaniments may be shortened. Unless written for unaccompanied voice, the selections should be accompanied. The selections should demonstrate the singer's musical sensitivity and technical proficiency.
FOR OTHER INSTRUMENTS: Two selections from the standard repertoire of one's instrument.
- One should be of moderate or fast tempo, demonstrating technical proficiency
- One should be slower, demonstrating musical sensitivity.
Unless written as a concert piece for unaccompanied instrument, such as a Bach suite or a percussion solo, the selections should be accompanied.
For more information on music scholarships, call 704-894-2357 or email Christine Tabor, Music departmental assistant.