Friends of the BPO Young Musicians Scholarship

Friends of the BPO Young Musician Scholarships

Important Dates & Deadlines:

October 1, 2023: Application forms become available on
November 18, 2023: DEADLINE to submit application and audio recordings
March 2, 2024: Auditions & Interviews

Young Musician Scholarships

Three Friends of the BPO Young Musicians’ Scholarships will be awarded:

    1. First Prize of $3,000
    2. Second prize of $2,000
    3. Third prize of $1,000

Monies will be awarded second semester of the freshman year of college upon receipt of a formal statement from the school indicating student achievement. Winners are required to earn a 3.0 GPA or its equivalent, according to school grading policies.

2023 Scholarship winners

Silverman String Scholarships

For string applicants only, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society will be awarding up to three Silverman String Scholarships, each in the amount of $1,500. The Silverman String Scholarship will be awarded after the first year of the recipient’s successful study (with college validation) at a date and time determined by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society.

Yadzinski Scholarship for the Arts

For nearly sixty years, Edward I. Yadzinski devoted his career to the performing arts as a musician, composer, annotator, historian and educator with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and University at Buffalo. To build on this legacy, The Yadzinski Foundation established the Yadzinski Scholarship for the Arts in partnership with the Friends of the BPO to recognize a gifted high school senior in the Western New York region who has chosen to pursue music as a program of study at a university or college. The $2,500 award combines a $2,000 academic scholarship applied towards tuition and school expenses with an educational technology grant of $500 for computers, software or instruments.

Burns/Gerlach Memorial Jazz Scholarship

The Queen City Jass Society will award a $1000 scholarship to a Western New York high school senior planning to major in music with an emphasis on jazz.

Application Procedures:

AUDIO OR VIDEO RECORDING: Label mp3 or mp4 with applicant name, school, title of selections and instrument/voice. Accompaniment is required on at least one selection.

MUSIC: Perform at least two (2) different selections. Maximum time: 8 minutes of music. 

Select a piece which displays technical facility and another in a contrasting style demonstrating musicianship and interpretation. VOCALISTS: Include at least one selection from the current NYSSMA Manual.

ESSAY: PART B of the application is an essay.  The essay should not exceed 500 words. Please submit electronically as a Word document or pdf to Please label with name and school. Applicant essay should include the following:

  • Statement about your plans to continue music study
  • Your eventual goal as a career in music
  • The route you hope to take to reach your goal
  • Whom or what has motivated or inspired you
  • Honors, awards, and other distinctions

RECOMMENDATIONS (2):  PART C – Submit recommendations from school or private music teacher and school counselor or principal electronically to Please label with name and school.

AUDITION:  A committee will choose finalists who will be invited to audition and interview on a select date in the spring. Auditions are limited to eight (8) minutes in length. Finalists should plan their performance accordingly so as not to exceed the allotted time. This audition should be considered a recital performance with proper dress, acknowledgement of the audience, etc. Bring your accompanist, as accompaniment is required on at least one selection.

Application Requirements:

  1. Seniors who will enroll at a university/college as a music major in the fall of 2024 are eligible to apply.
  2. Scholarships are available for high school seniors from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee-Wyoming, Niagara and Orleans counties.
  3. Piano accompaniment is required on at least one selection.
  4. An audio or video recording (mp3 or mp4) and all sections of the application (A,B,C), including recommendations by your music teacher and school counselor or principal.
  5. No student will be granted an audition or interview if the above requirements are not met.
  6. Applicants will be notified at home via US Mail as to all commitments, decisions, and final awards.
  7. All audio recordings and application forms become the property of the Friends of the BPO and will not be returned.
  8. Finalists must supply their own instrument needs.

Application Forms:

Click HERE to submit the Student Application Part A

Click HERE to submit Part B – Student Essay

Click HERE to print out Part C1 and C2 – Recommendation forms to hand-deliver to your music teacher and school counselor or principal

Past Award Recipients

Click here to explore past scholarship winners.