Are you a music student looking for funding towards a music degree? A choral group looking to fund your next album? A soloist wanting to put on a concert honoring your favorite composer (Allan Blank, of course)?  

Finding funding for music can seem challenging. Especially, when so many programs for the arts are seeing their budgets cut. Yet, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. My own position, preserving the works of Allan Blank, is very generously funded by The Allan and Margot Blank Foundation! So, to support and continue the legacy of Mr. Blank, I’ve decided to create a list of 5 popular music scholarships and grants to help aspiring and professional musicians achieve their dreams.

(gonna start with the best one…in my humble opinion…)

  1. The Allan and Margot Blank Foundation

“The Allan and Margot Blank Foundation was created by Allan Blank, a resident of Richmond, Virginia, to support musical and artistic organizations. The Foundation primarily supports chamber groups, choral groups, and soloists that perform contemporary music, and artistic organizations that exhibit regional artists.”- Foundation Information, The Allan and Margot Blank Foundation

This grant is primarily for smaller groups, soloists and non-profit organizations focusing on contemporary-classical music. However, this grant is limited to musicians and groups in Virginia, especially the Richmond area. The average grant awards are between $1,000 to $20,000, with no limit on how many gifts are given in a year. Click HERE for specific application guidelines and dates.

2. The Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians

“Fellowships are generally awarded to musicians based in the United States (although not necessarily U.S. citizens) at the outset of their professional lives, for whom this would be the first extended period of study abroad. A strong, well-planned project of study that will enhance the applicant’s life in music must be proposed. Enrollment in a school or university is not required unless such study is an essential part of the project.” – Fund Information, The Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians

The Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians is a fellowship of $22,000 (for one year only) granted to young artists at the beginning of their career. The focus of the grant is for advanced study, or performance in Europe. Past award winners have studied in London, Berlin and Basel and include composers, organists and Sopranos. Closing date for this year’s application is December 16, 2019 and includes an audition. Click HERE for more information and specific application instructions.

3. The Opera Foundation

“Our scholarships provide the opportunity for young artists to participate in programs provided by one of our three partnering opera houses. Applicants who have been chosen to attend the Opera Foundation’s auditions compete for one of our four scholarships. We offer two scholarships for Berlin, one for Turin, and one for Munich. Applicants may not choose one scholarship over the other or opt out of any one when applying. The Opera Foundation will conduct a single audition for all of our scholarships. Judges for the auditions include the senior representatives of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Regio Torino, and Die Bayerische Staatsoper.” – Join Our Program, The Opera Foundation

This series of scholarships from the Opera Foundation are meant for singers at the beginning of their careers (specifically applicant must be age 18 to 30 to apply). Recipients will be assigned to one of three opera houses in Germany, or Italy, receive $16,000 stipend, $2,000 for travel and additional benefits. Scholarship winners will participate in staged productions and receive in-depth training. Click HERE for exact application details and benefits.

4. The Alice M. Ditson Fund

“To support performing organizations, institutions, summer festivals and conferences whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of works by younger and relatively unknown, living American composers of classical concert music.”- The Program’s Objective, The Alice M. Ditson Fund

The Alice M. Ditson Fund grant is primarily for organizations (non-profit tax-exempt status) wanting to showcase young musical talent, or unknown classical composers at festivals, or conferences. Awards are from $1,000 to $5,000 for American contemporary-classical music and only for one year. Organizations that apply for funding must be at least two years old and be able to provide proof that they can complete the project. Application deadlines are November 15th for summer programs and April 15th for project support. Click HERE for more information and application directions.

5. New Music USA Project Grants

“Our approach to Project Grants is driven by two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists connect with audiences, not just funders.

Applicants are asked to present their projects using the same language and media they would use to build public interest in their work. Our goal is to make grantmaking less about grant writing, and focus instead on how artists naturally talk about their work.

We are also passionate about adding value to the grants we give and work to provide a platform for further exploration. We do this to build community around the artists we serve through promotion of  projects through social media, email, and our connections within the field.” – About Project Grants, New Music USA

New Music USA project grants are a series of awards given to individuals, groups, organizations desiring to increase their audience. More along the lines of professional development/brand building. Amounts awarded have a very broad range, from $250 to $15,000 depending on the project and projected need. Grant applications are due January 30th, 2020, but the awards recipients will not be announced until May. Follow the guidelines closely, since some funding opportunities are only for certain musical styles, or operations. Click HERE for directions, dates and application details.

Pro Tips when applying for grants, or scholarships: Read the instructions very carefully and follow exactly. You can eliminate yourself from the running immediately if you fail to follow a step correctly.

Site examples in your argument on why you are a good fit for the grant and make sure these examples connect directly to the focus of the grant. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but sometimes we can get caught up in thinking that we deserve funding and fail to tell others why they should care that we deserve funding.

Do not assume that your audience are experts. Meaning, make sure to be detailed in your descriptions and do not get caught up in jargon and acronyms.

You got this. Now go forth and make beautiful music!