Encouraging Young Musicians for over 120 Years

By Barry Kempton

I wrote recently about the Student Scholarship Competition and the enthusiasm that board members, our staff and I personally have for this showcase of the outstanding musical talent in our community.

Less well known but of no less importance to the mission of The Schubert Club is our annual awards of what we (somewhat mysteriously) call Special Grants. Last week, a committee of Schubert Club board members and guest adjudicators met to review some 30 applications for grants of around $500 to help young musicians with the costs associated with attending music camps, participating in music master-classes and other serious musical training pursuits. We were pleased to be in a position to increase the total pool of funds available this year to over $12,000, thanks to generous donations from a number of individuals and local families. The committee spent the better part of a morning reviewing and discussing the individual merits of each application (having already read through the 30 sets of materials in advance).

According to a fascinating article about the history of The Schubert Club’s education programs written by Jane Jeong Trenka for our 125th anniversary book, the organization made its first educational grant in 1893, a loan to a Miss Ella Richards in order for her to study piano in Vienna. The provision of financial support for musical study has been in our DNA for over 120 years and it is as important still today to the mission of The Schubert Club as the presentation of concerts and recitals.

Right now at The Schubert Club, we are searching out high school age musicians with a creative flair to participate in next year’s Composer Mentorship Program led by one of our two composers in residence Edie Hill. The deadline for signing up is June 2. More information is available on our website, if you can help us get the word out to young musicians in and around the Twin Cities.

On that same subject of nurturing creativity, take a look at this 45 second promo video put out by the American Composers Forum announcing NextNotes, a new High School Composition Awards program.

I’m in my second year serving on the volunteer Board of Directors of ACF. If you know any prospective young creative musicians anywhere in the country who might be interested in taking part, do please forward that web page link to them.