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Discovery Scholarship Program

Chair: Yvonne Donnelley:

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 at least one year prior to the interview/Audition date. Voice students are required to have studied with their 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 2022-2023:

  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 1040 Tax Return.  This notarized copy must clearly INDICATE the same amount of the Annual Gross Income as shown on Form 1040. No exceptions accepted.

  4. A letter from a parent, signed by the parent, including (a) description and reasons for financial need and assistance, (b) family’s motivation and student’s commitment to continue private music study.

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

  6. The applicants and recipients must commit to 42 regular weekly lessons between September and August every year. The length of each lesson must be adequate to the student’s level.

  7. The intentional applicant must perform in TWO of the Teacher’s Studio Student Recitals in the Fall Semester of 2021 and the Spring Semester of 2022. These two recital programs are needed for the application.

  8. Fall Semester is defined as September to January; Spring Semester, from February to June. Some teachers will continue to teach in the summer months.

  9. The Two Studio Recitals must be completed in a timely manner as copies of both programs from these two Recitals are required for applying to Discovery Scholarship before the application deadline on June 15 every year. Late submission will not be accepted.

  10. Since the deadline for DS application is always on June 15 every year, it is strongly recommended that participating teachers hold these two required Studio Recitals in or before January, and the other one in or before May. Therefore, the students interested in applying for DS can be eligible for the application before the deadline.

  11. The Current Recipients & Repeat Applicants of the Discovery Scholarship must also perform in at least ONE of the Alameda County Branch Formal Recitals during the 2021-22 year.

  12. There are six Formal Recitals held in October, November, January, February, March, and April, respectively. The DS students must choose at least one of the six Formal Recitals to perform and save the copy of the program to submit for application later on. PLEASE NOTE: THE LAST FORMAL RECITAL IS ON APRIL 17, 2022.** The Committee strongly suggests that DS students NOT wait until later Formal Recitals since they are easily filled up and leave no slot for latecomers. Failure to do so will result in the disqualification of the applicant.

  13.  Applicant families must contribute $20 for each lesson before the beginning of each semester.

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

  15. Applications must be sent by the U.S. Postal Service, and postmarked between 5/15/2022 and 6/15/2022. See address below.

  16. Note: No drop-off applications will be accepted.     

    **The April 17th recital has been rescheduled to May 28th 2022 

Interview/Audition Requirements

  1. Both audition selections must be SOLO pieces and memorized.

  2. When the applicant’s application qualifies for financial need, they will then be invited to the interview/audition at Berkeley Piano Club on Sunday, October 9, 2022, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

  3. Student auditions with two contrasting solo pieces that must be from or comparable to Certificate of Merit Level II or higher. Refer to MTAC CM Syllabus for specific repertoires.

  4. Due to the Copyright Laws, applicants must provide original copyrighted scores for the judges at the auditions. Without providing the scores, the applicant will NOT be allowed to audition.

  5. The auditions are closed to parents and teachers.

  6. The Scholarship Committee will base their selection of Scholarship recipients (first) on financial need as well as musical performance.

  7. This Scholarship may be reapplied for yearly as long as students: (1) meet the financial requirements; (2) make steady progress; (3) take regular 42 lessons throughout the year; and (4) participate in both Fall and Spring Teacher’s Studio Recitals and a Branch Formal Recital. See previous Requirements for specifications.

  8. Audition results will be sent to participating teachers approximately one week after the interviews/auditions.




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

2022.  The DS Committee will NOT accept any registered mail or personal delivery for the applications.

Mail the completed application materials to:

Yvonne Donnelley

Discovery Scholarship Committee

2835 Benvenue Ave. 

Berkeley, CA 94705 

Interview/Audition date:

Sunday, October 9, 2022 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 2724 Haste Street, Berkeley, CA 94704


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 (42 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 Requirements for specifics.

Click here to download the application.


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