Purpose: to award scholarships to students worthy of consideration as a reward for their consistent effort and commitment to developing their musical skills. These awards are intended to help provide opportunities for those students to further their music instruction and experience. In the case of a collegiate level scholarship, a monetary award is given to support that student in their pursuit of a degree in music. Spring applicants are either camp-bound or college students; Fall has various types of award categories. See the application form.
Camp is defined as any summer, organized music camp for youth through grade 12, the purpose of which is to provide musical education, whether in or out of Helena or Montana.
Scholarship applicants must be students of current HMTA members, or in the case of a collegiate level student, that student must be a former student of an HMTA member.
Scholarship categories: The scholarships are divided into grade level categories, each having 3 scholarships with the award amounts reflecting an increasing commitment and experience of the auditioning students. Generally, monies that go unused in a category will carry over to the next scholarship "season" but the Committee reserves the right to award according to supply and demand principles.
The categories and awards are:
The HMTA Teacher Memorial Scholarship: Any future memorial funds donated to HMTA for the purpose of scholarships will be added to this fund, unless specifically designated otherwise by the donor. This scholarship fund can be used for any Fall or Spring scholarship deemed appropriate by the scholarship committee. It may also be used for scholarships to collegiate students pursuing a major or minor in disciplines other than those specified in the Margie Fowler Fund below. Examples of those fields would include, but not be limited to, music therapy, music technology, and church music. In such cases, however, the committee resolves to put the matter before the vote of either the Board or the membership, whichever is most expedient.
In the case of Camp Scholarships, awards will not and must not exceed the cost of the camp's tuition to which the student will be attending.
Margie Fowler Scholarship: The Margie Fowler scholarship will be awarded to students at the collegiate level who are pursuing a major or a minor in music in the specific fields of Music Education, Piano or Vocal Performance, or Pedagogy. One scholarship of $725 will be awarded per year in the Spring when there is an eligible student. That student needs to submit TWO letters of recommendation: one by the former HMTA teacher, and one by a college music professor. Furthermore, the former teacher must be a member of HMTA as of the date of application. These are to be submitted along with the completed application form and the video audition recording as instructed on the form, and the packet will be included in the adjudication process described below.
Award Criteria: The adjudicators will be asked to judge, first and foremost, the quality of excellence of the performance on the submitted recordings. A point system (similar to the high school district music festival's) will be used to assess each student's strengths and weaknesses. Secondary to that, the adjudicator may also consider any additional information submitted on each student's application form, such as age or length of study. Finally, the Committee will consider all submitted essays, comments, and recommendation letters.
Objective Award Process: Toward the goal of making the scholarship award process an objective one, the Spring video recordings will be sent to out-of-town adjudicators who will be compensated at the same rate as the Master Teachers secured for the spring festival; compensation monies will come from the scholarship funds. Adjudicators will be secured for each discipline, i.e., a pianist adjudicates piano students, a string person adjudicates a violinist, etc. Fall applicants' video recordings will be handled by the current scholarship committee.
HMTA Scholarship Committee: The responsibilities of the HMTA member scholarship committee are as follows:
Any and all funds raised by means of fundraiser events for the specific purpose of scholarships will be distributed equally between the two current scholarships, those being the Teacher Memorial, and Fowler scholarships, unless specifically designated otherwise by a donor. Any exceptions need a vote by the HMTA membership.