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 1040 Tax Return. No exceptions accepted.

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

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

  6. The intentional applicant must perform Teacher’s Studio’s Student Recital both in Fall and Spring Semesters during 2019-20 year. The copies of these programs from these two Recitals are required for applying Discovery Scholarship.

  7. The Current Recipients & Repeated Applicants of the Discovery Scholarship must also perform at least ONE of the Alameda County Branch Formal Recital in the past during 2019-20 year. Failure to do so will result in the disqualification for the application.

  8. Applicant family is required to contribute $20 for each lesson.

  9. Incomplete form of application or not meeting the above mentioned requirements will result in disqualification for the application.

  10. The application period for submitting the application must be by U. S. Postal Service postmarked between 5/15/2020 and 6/15/2020. See address below.

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

Interview/Audition Requirements


  1. Audition music must be SOLO pieces and memorized.

  2. When applicant’s application qualifies for the financial evaluation, s/he will then be invited to the interview/audition at Berkeley Piano Club on Sunday, 10/11/2020 between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M.

  3. Student auditions with two contrasting solo pieces from or comparable level at 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 photo copies are allowed for audition.

  5. The auditions are closed to parents and teachers.

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





The application period must be postmarked by USPS between May 15 and June 15, 2020.  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 11, 2020 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). It begins in October and may be renewed yearly as long as students (1) meet the financial requirements, (2) make steady progress, and (3) participate in both the Teacher’s Studio Recital and a Branch Formal Recital. See previous Requirements for specifications. 

Click here to download the application.


© 2019 by MTAC Alameda County Branch