San Francisco’s Community Music Center (CMC), a non-profit community arts organization, announced an award of $50,000 in merit scholarships to 31 students, covering their private lesson tuition during the 2015-2016 school year.
These annual scholarships are part of CMC’s tuition assistance program, which provided $1.1M of support to students of all ages last year and is one of the most generous of its kind in the country.
Each May, a panel of faculty and staff assess student performances to select full scholarship recipients for the coming year, based on need and merit. In addition to a student’s jury performance, the panel reviews information from the student’s teacher before making the awards.
The teacher may comment on the student’s length of study, technique, musicality, attendance, practice habits, attitude and progress. Students who have been awarded scholarships re-audition every year and may continue to receive the scholarship until they graduate from high school.
“CMC’s commitment to our mission of making music education accessible to everyone is as strong as it was when we opened our doors in 1921,” said Christopher Borg, CMC’s executive director.
“These scholarships play a vital role in each student’s success through music. This year’s roster of recipients is strong and we’re proud of the life-changing opportunities we continue to provide after 94 years,” he said.
Among this year’s winners is 11-year-old Journey Rae Moore-Prewitt, a three-time recipient whose passion is playing the piano. “If I keep playing, I have a clear future in front of me,” she said. “I can do bigger and greater things. The piano has and always will play a huge role in my life.” Rae Moore-Prewitt is one recipient of the Ross McKee Memorial Scholarship in Piano.
Patricia Moore, the grandmother of Rae Moore-Prewitt, attributes her granddaughter’s success in part to the dedicated teaching staff at CMC. “Our family has a long history with CMC: Journey’s teacher, Lilia, cares deeply for her students and the learning opportunities CMC provides,” she said. “Piano has opened so many doors for Journey by building her confidence and even helping her with math. We’re hopeful she will be able to go to Juilliard one day.”
CMC’s merit scholarships are among several tuition assistance programs available. The school offers tuition-free programs such as the Young Musicians Program, Older Adult Choir Program, Teen Jazz Orchestra and Children’s Chorus, as well as sliding-scale tuition and other discounts for all of its lessons, group classes and ensembles.
With the increasing cost of living in San Francisco and 17 percent of CMC’s 2,400 students living below the federal poverty line, these programs help CMC deliver access to music education regardless of financial means.