Music Scholarships

Yearly scholarships for private lessons and summer camps

Students Awarded Scholarships

Dollars Awarded to Young Area Musicians

2021 Scholarship Notice: The Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur has provided music scholarships for 40 years, nurturing the musical education of hundreds of Macon County students.

Music educators have helped adjudicate live auditions in the past. However, as we change the way we interact during the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be changes to the selection process in 2021.

The guild will be working with the local public and parochial music educators to select those students currently in grades 6-10 who will receive private lessons through the Millikin University Preparatory Department in fall 2021. Until summer music camps return to their traditional on-site offerings, we will temporarily suspend those scholarships.

The Symphony Orchestra Guild appreciates those medical experts who have studied essential components of combatting this coronavirus, thus allowing musicians to gather again to bring healing music to all.

Scholarships for Young Decatur, IL Musicians

For more than 40 years, SOGD has supported young area musicians with scholarships for private music lessons and summer music camps.  More than 670 students have won scholarships worth more than $340,000. After Spring auditions, scholarship winners choose to receive private lessons through Millikin University’s Preparatory Department or to attend a summer music camp.

Scholarship winners have gone on to graduate and receive music scholarships from prestigious music conservatories and universities, including:

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Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA)

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Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

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University of Chicago

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University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign and Springfield)

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University of Missouri

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Indiana State University

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McKendree University

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Millikin University

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Southern Illinois University

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Vanderbilt University

The Guild has supported students who have become professional musicians, music educators, school administrators, attorneys, physicians, nurses, members of the US armed forces, patrons of the arts across the country, even parents of another generation of scholarship winners. In addition, the MDSO regularly includes 5-8 former scholarship winners on stage each performance.

Scholarship Types Awarded by the Symphony Guild of Decatur

Anthony, 2015 winner

Instrumental Private Lessons

The Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur offers up to 10 instrumental private lesson scholarships from a Millikin School of Music instructor. These scholarships include 13 one-hour lessons valued up to $800.

Piano lessons scholarships

Private Piano Lessons

The Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur offers a minimum of 2 private piano lesson scholarships from a Millikin School of Music instructor. These scholarships include 13 one-hour lessons valued up to $800.

Instrumental Summer Camps

Summer Music Camp Scholarships

The Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur offers a minimum of 4 summer music camp scholarships. The value of each scholarship is up to $800, made payable to the camper upon receipt of an acceptance letter in the Spring.

Instrumental Private Lesson Scholarships

Scholarship applications due February 1st, Lesson winners begin in September

Katelyn and Bailee, 2017 Winners
Hailey, 2018 Winner

Guidelines

 ✓ Students in grades 6-11

 ✓ Students must meet one of the following criteria: participate in the school band or orchestra, be home-schooled in Macon County, IL, or be a member of the Decatur Youth Symphony.

 ✓ Resident of Macon County, Illinois

 ✓ Must complete an audition with an accompanist

Auditions & Winners

✓ Perform one solo piece, not to exceed 7 minutes, which highlights your technical ability and musicality

✓ Provide judges with two copies of the music

✓ Must use a self-provided accompanist – Millikin piano students are available at no cost if desired – be sure to mark your application appropriately

✓ Judges require a photo and information about you as they make final decisions.

 

✓ Feel free to use the back of your form for biographical information and additional musical activities. The photo may be used for publicity purposes when winners are announced, so send a picture you would want to see in a newspaper or program.

✓ Students are placed for instruction based on playing ability as determined by the Education Committee and Millikin staff

✓ Winners can lose their scholarships if multiple lessons are missed or not set up by the end of September; an alternate winner will be contacted at this time

✓ Former scholarship winners who receive the recommendation of their Millikin private teachers are welcome to continue private lessons without audition

Private Piano Lesson Scholarships

Scholarship applications due February 1st, Lesson winners begin in September

Gavin, Piano, 2018 Winner
Piano lessons scholarships

Guidelines

 ✓ Students in grades 7-11

 ✓ Students must be a Macon County student who studies privately

 ✓ Must complete an audition

 

Auditions & Winners

✓ Perform two selections showing two different styles of playing – fast and slow – from two different time periods

✓ Provide judges with original music with the measures numbered

✓ Selections must not exceed 10 minutes of playing time

✓ Judges appreciate a photo and information about you as they make final decisions.

 

✓ Feel free to use the back of your form for biographical information and additional musical activities. The photo may be used for publicity purposes when winners are announced, so send a picture you would want to see in a newspaper or program.

✓ Students are placed for instruction based on playing ability as determined by the Education Committee and Millikin staff

✓ Winners can lose their scholarships if multiple lessons are missed or not set up by the end of September; an alternate winner will be contacted at this time

✓ Former scholarship winners who receive the recommendation of their Millikin private teachers are welcome to continue private lessons without audition

Summer Music Camp Scholarships

Camp acceptance letter must be submitted by May 3 to keep your summer music camp scholarship

Blue Lake Music Camp Scholarships
Eastern Illinois University Summer Music Camp

Camps attended by past students:

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Belmont University Summer Music Camp (TN)

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Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (MI)

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Bowdoin Music Festival (ME)

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Eastern Illinois University Summer Music Camp

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Illinois Summer Youth Music (IL)

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Illinois State University Summer Music Camp

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Illinois Wesleyan Summer Music Camp

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Indiana University Summer Music Academy

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Interlochen Summer Arts Camp (MI)

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McKendree College

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Oberlin Summer Music Camp (OH)

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University of Michigan Summer Music Camp

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University of North Texas Percussion Camp

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Western Michigan University

Guidelines

 ✓ Students in grades 6-11

 ✓ Students must meet one of the following criteria: participate in the school band or orchestra, be home-schooled in Macon County, IL, or be a member of the Decatur Youth Symphony.

 ✓ Resident of Macon County, Illinois

 ✓ Band and string applicants may win both a private lesson scholarship and a summer music camp scholarship; however, preference will be given to those who have not previously won a scholarship

 ✓ Must perform an audition with an accompanist

Auditions & Winners

✓ Audition spots are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis

✓ Applications who arrive after auditions have been filled will be added to a waiting list in the order received

✓ Perform 1 solo piece, not to exceed 7 minutes, highlighting technical ability and musicality

✓ Provide judges with two copies of music with the measures numbered

✓ Must use a self-provided accompanist – Millikin piano students are available at no cost if desired – be sure to mark your application appropriately 

✓ Judges require a photo and information about you as they make final decisions.

✓ Feel free to use the back of your form for biographical information and additional musical activities. The photo may be used for publicity purposes when winners are announced, so send a picture you would want to see in a newspaper or program.

✓ Students are responsible for submitting the camp acceptance letter to Dee Keller, a representative of the SOGD by May 3

✓ Failure to submit the camp acceptance letter by May 3 will result in the loss of the scholarship

✓ Alternate winners will be contacted to recieve any forfeited scholarships

Looking to support the Guild?

A donation to the Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur puts instruments in the hands of children, makes live symphonic music accessible to all Illinoisans, and makes it possible for world-class musicians to call Illinois home. 

Every dollar counts, and each donation helps ensure a sustainable, thriving future for the Guild.

David Cook