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Scholarships and Awards

Music Merit Scholarships


The Department of Music offers annually-renewable merit-based scholarship aid to committed performers, composers, aspiring music scholars, and students focused on music industry or production who plan to major or minor in music. Complete the following steps to apply for renewable music merit-based scholarship aid:

  1. Email the following information directly to the Department of Music:
    • Your name and area of musical activity
    • Your UR student ID number (if known)
    • A brief music bio and statement outlining why you should be considered for music merit aid.
  2. Submit a Music Portfolio through the Undergraduate Admissions Office portal with the requested materials for your area:
    • Performers - YouTube or other video sharing links to approximately ten minutes of recent performances that demonstrate your current level of musical proficiency
      1. Pianists: 
        1. Classical - one polyphonic work by J.S. Bach, one Classical-era allegro, and one other piece of the applicant's choice; memorization is preferred.
        2. Pop and Jazz - two pieces of contrasting style that demonstrate your current level of technical and musical proficiency
      2. Singers: 
        1. Classical - two contrasting art songs or arias. It is preferred that both pieces are performed from memory and one song is in a language other than English. One piece may be from the musical theatre repertory.
        2. Pop or non-Western - two contrasting pieces, one up tempo and one slower. It is preferred that both pieces are performed from memory. Solo material preferred, but if submitting a group performance, please be sure your voice can be heard independently of other singers or instrumentalists.
      3. Band/orchestra instrumentalists:  two pieces of contrasting style from the instrument's standard solo repertory; memorization is not required.
      4. Guitarists:  two pieces of contrasting style; memorization is not required.
      5. Pop, non-Western, and Folk performers - two contrasting pieces; solo material preferred, but if submitting a group performance, please be sure your part can be heard independently of other performers.
    • Composers - submit PDF files and/or recordings of 3-4 original works
    • Aspiring music scholars - one writing sample focused on music; minimum of five pages, double-spaced text.
    • Music producers - links to several examples of your production projects with a clear explanation of your role in each one. 


The Department of Music offers one-time merit scholarships to current students who are active and doing excellent work in the Department, with preference given to declared music majors and minors. Students who want to be considered for a one-time music merit scholarship should submit the Scholarship Request form found at 


  1. Declare a major or minor in music and maintain a B (3.0) average in their music courses.
  2. Fulfill the expectations specific to the awardee’s area (performance, scholarship, composition, production, etc.) as outlined in the award letter.
  3. Be an active leader in the Department of Music by, for example, taking MSAP private lessons, participating in faculty-led ensembles, attending concerts, organizing and promoting music events and clubs, fostering student-driven work. 

Richmond Scholars Program

The University awards a number of full-tuition plus room and board scholarships each year as part of the Richmond Scholars Program to students with exceptional ability in music, visual arts, theatre, or dance who also excel academically. All applicants for admission who apply by December 1 are automatically considered for the Richmond Scholars Program. Please direct questions about this program to the Richmond Scholars Office. 

Endowed Music Scholarship Descriptions

Suzanne Kidd Bunting Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1998 by friends of Suzanne Bunting, who served as University organist, faculty member and long-time department chair from 1961 until her retirement in 1999. This scholarship is intended for students majoring in Music. 

Hannah Coker Music Scholarship
Established 1978 by a gift from Hannah L. Coker, a graduate of Westhampton College in 1923. Over her 25-year career at the University of Richmond, she taught music appreciation, music history and piano, founded the music library and was the music librarian. This scholarship is intended for any music student. 

Quincy Cole Memorial Scholarship
Established in 1969 through the bequest of Quincy Cole in the Windsor Foundation, which Mr. Cole began through his will and named for his home in Windsor Farms in Richmond. Mr. Cole attended Richmond College in the Class of 1912 and was one of the founders of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. The scholarship is intended for piano students. 

Margaret Downer Music Scholarship
Established in 2000 by Margaret Taylor Gallaway in honor of her mother, the scholarship gives precedence to an outstanding voice or piano student. 

F. Flaxington Harker Scholarship
Established in 1953 by the bequest of Edith Clark Harker, W’33, in memory of her husband, F. Flaxington Harker, who had been organist and choirmaster at St. Paul's Episcopal Church from 1914–1932. Mrs. Harker had been a professor of voice at Westhampton College. The scholarship is for a Westhampton College student in the Department of Music with preference to piano and organ students. 

Margaret E. James Scholarship
Established 1964 by the bequest of Minnie K. James (Mrs. William Carey James) in memory of her daughter, Margaret, who was a member of the Westhampton College Class of 1916 and a music teacher. The scholarship is for Westhampton College students of piano. 

Frederick Neumann Scholarship
Frederick “Fritz” Neumann (1907–1994), a native of Bielitz, Austro-Hungary, taught at the University of Richmond from 1955–1978. A violinist, he founded the University Symphony and served as the first concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. He was also a renowned scholar of performance practice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The scholarship was established in 1987 by friends in honor of Dr. Neumann’s 80th birthday and is intended for string players in the University Orchestra. 

Puckett Family Scholarship
The scholarship was created in 1994 from a gift from Virginia McIntosh Puckett, W’34, and Charles W. Puckett, R’32, in appreciation of the educational opportunities given to them and their daughter Mary Elizabeth Puckett Maddox, W’66, during their student days at the University of Richmond. The scholarship is awarded to a Westhampton College student Music major. 

Hilton Rufty Memorial Scholarship
Established in 1974 as a memorial fund at the death of Hilton Rufty, who had been associate professor of music at University of Richmond since 1946. He had also been organist at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and St. Giles’ Presbyterian Church in Richmond. The scholarship is for a student in the music department. 

Hazel I. M. Sternheimer Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1991 by Mark and Anne Sternheimer and family in honor of Mark’s mother, Associate Professor of Harp at the University of Richmond from 1939–1942. The scholarship is awarded to a string player in the orchestra or a Music major. 

Frank I. Stockstill Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1983 by Susan Stockstill in memory of her husband, who enjoyed playing oboe in the University of Richmond Symphony. The scholarship is awarded to a member of the orchestra or a music student with preference given to students from Virginia. 

Endowed Residency

The F. Ralph Swanson, R’26, and Mary A. Swanson Artist-in-Residence Fund
The fund was established in 1987 by an estate gift from Mary A. Swanson to bring prominent composers or performers to the campus every year for several days. In addition to performances, the musicians work with students in classrooms and rehearsals. 

Annual Project Grant, Awards, and Music Honorary

The Annual Project-Based Grant
A grant available to support faculty-supervised projects by music majors and minors. The amount and number of the awards varies yearly at the discretion of the Department of Music faculty based on the proposals received, but fall in the $500-$1000 range.

Applicants must have declared or be on track for the music major or minor prior to applying for the award (first-year students must be officially on track for the major or minor before any award can be made). Awards are based on proposal quality and the applicant's academic performance and commitment to music. Application for these awards is made through a written application (maximum 250 words) directed to the chairperson of the Department of Music and should address: 

  1. Description of the proposed project.
  2. Project timeline.
  3. The project's contribution to the Department of Music.
  4. The project's relevance to the applicant's future plans, before and after graduation. 

Bobby Chandler Award
The award was established in 1989 by Mr. Homer H. “Kip” Kephart in memory of Mr. Bobby Chandler and is given annually to an outstanding music major. 

C. J. Hesch Award
The award was established in 1995 by the family of Dr. C. J. Hesch and is given annually to an outstanding student who has made significant contributions to the music department through participation in ensembles, applied lessons and/or classes. 

Roy Jesson Music Prize
The prize was established in 1974 by friends of Jesson, University of Richmond piano instructor from 1955–1961, after his untimely death in 1972. It is awarded to a music student or graduate who excels in performing, conducting or composing. 

Phi Kappa Mu Music Honorary Society
The Phi Kappa Mu Music Honorary Society recognizes and promotes academic achievement in the study and performance of music. Students are eligible for membership after achieving second-semester sophomore status and a minimum 3.5 GPA in at least three full-unit MUS courses required for the Music major/minor, plus one unit of MSAP and one unit of MSEN. Students are inducted into Phi Kappa Mu at the end of each academic year.