Discovery Scholarship Program

Chair: Yvonne Donnelley: yvonne4music@gmail.com

In 1989, the Memorial Scholarship Foundation Board began the Discovery Scholarship Program. This program offers scholarships to students of branch members in grades K-12 for private musical instruction. Vocal students may apply through age 21. The scholarships are for serious students whose families face financial hardship. Scholarship recipients must have a basic aptitude for music and regular access to an instrument. Cost of materials and transportation to lessons are the responsibility of the students’ families. 


Discovery Scholarship Program Committee:











Committee Chair:  

Yvonne Donnelley 

Financial Secretary: 

Betty Woo


Katharine Austin

Kent Tchii

Grace Yu 

Eligibility Requirements:
  1. The application is open to members of the MTAC Alameda County Branch. Teachers must be the members of the Alameda County Branch for at least one year and in good standing.

  2. All applicants must be current students of eligible teachers. Instrumental students are required to have studied with their current teacher for a period of at least one year prior to the interview/Audition date. Voice students are required to have studied with voice teacher for a period of at least two years AND to have studied with their current teacher for a period of at least one year prior to the Interview/Audition date.

  3. Applications are open to piano, strings and winds students up to and including age 18, and vocal students up to and including age 21 by interview date. 


Application Requirements updated for 2020-2021:

  1. An eligible teacher may submit no more than three (3) students for applications per year.

  2. Completed application form.

  3. A NOTARIZED Xerox copy of the first TWO pages of the Current Year’s (2020) 1040 Tax Return. The 2020 1040 Tax Return document must have ORIGINAL SIGNATURE of the Parent(s) and /or Tax Preparer. No exceptions accepted.

  4. A signed letter from the Parent(s), including (i) a description and reasons for financial need and assistance, and (ii) the family’s motivation and Student’s commitment to continue private music study.

  5. A signed letter from student applicant, regarding motivation and goals for continuing private music study.

  6. New and repeat applicants must perform in their Teacher’s Studio Recitals BOTH in the Fall and Spring Semesters during the 2020-21 year. Copies of the Programs from these two Recitals are required for applying for the Discovery Scholarship.

  7. Current Recipients or Previous Recipients of the Discovery Scholarship must also perform in at least ONE of the Alameda County Branch Formal Recitals in the past during the 2020- 2021 year. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the application.  

  8. Families of Students who achieve the Scholarship Award are required to contribute $20 for each lesson.

  9. Incomplete forms, missing documentation, or not meeting any of the above mentioned requirements will result in disqualification of the application.

  10. Applications must be sent by the U.S. Postal Service, and postmarked between 5/15/2021 and 6/15/2021 to:
    Yvonne Donnelley
    Discovery Scholarship Committee
    2835 Benvenue Ave. 
    Berkeley, CA 94705

  11. Note: No drop off applications will be accepted. 

Interview/Audition Requirements

  1. When an applicant demonstrates financial hardship, the Student will then be invited to the Interview/Audition at Berkeley Piano Club on Sunday, 10/10/2021 between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

  2. Audition music must be SOLO pieces and memorized..

  3. Students must audition with two contrasting solo pieces equal to Certificate of Merit Level II or higher. Refer to MTAC CM Syllabus for specific repertoires.

  4. Applicants must provide original copyrighted scores for the judges at the auditions. Without providing the scores, the applicant will NOT be allowed to audition. Due to the Copyright Laws, no photocopies are allowed for audition.

  5. The auditions are closed to parents and teachers.

  6. The results will be sent to participating teachers a few days after the Interviews/Auditions.





The application envelope must be postmarked by USPS between May 15 and June 15,

2021. No registered mail or personal delivery to the Committee will be accepted.

Mail the completed application materials to:

Yvonne Donnelley

Discovery Scholarship Committee

2835 Benvenue Ave. 

Berkeley, CA 94705 

Interview/Audition date:

Sunday, October 10, 2021 between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. Applicant must arrive 15 minutes prior to the assigned audition time. Failure to do so will result in disqualification

Location: Berkeley Piano Club


The Scholarship Committee will base their selection of recipients on financial need as well as musical interest and talent. All information will be kept strictly confidential. Scholarships are for one school year (43 lessons). Scholarships begin in October and may be renewed yearly as long as Students (1) meet the financial requirements, (2) make steady progress, and (3) participate each year in two Teacher’s Studio Recitals and a Branch Formal Recital. See previous Requirements for specifics.

Click here to download the application.