The Ferris-Burtis Music Scholarship Foundation

THE FERRIS BURTIS SCHOLARSHIP Fund

SCHOLARSHIP GUIDELINES

WHO CAN APPLY

Graduating high school seniors who have been accepted in a conservatory or school of music for the fall term for the purpose of pursuing a career in some form of classical music. Applicants must be full-time residents of the Berkshire Taconic region.

HOW TO APPLY

Visit our online portal to complete our common application, which will determine your eligibility for all Berkshire Taconic scholarships. Once you have logged in, select "Apply" at the top of the page, then scroll to the bottom of the list to find "Scholarship Common Application."

For the Ferris Burtis Scholarship, please complete your application by sending an audio or video file (or link to an online file) to grants@berkshiretaconic.org containing one of the following:

Piano (15 minutes of music)

  • A work by JS Bach
  • An allegro movement from a sonata by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven
  • An impressionist or contemporary work

Voice (15 minutes)

  • Classical songs and/or arias from various musical periods in more than one language
  • An allegro movement from a classical sonata
  • A romantic period or impressionist period composition

Organ (15 minutes of music)

  • A major work by JS Bach
  • A 19th century work
  • A contemporary work
     

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

The Ferris Burtis Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 by two men who devoted their lives to music. With the cost of education ever on the rise, this scholarship is designed to aid and encourage young musicians of talent as they prepare for careers in classical music.

John Ferris, a graduate of Michigan State University, was for 32 years the organist and choirmaster of Harvard University until his retirement to Sandisfield, Massachusetts in 1990. He taught organ and conducting at Boston University, lectured at the Harvard Divinity School, and conducted The Cantata Singers, a professional chorus in Boston. He was musical editor of the 1964 Harvard University Hymnal and choir director of the Congregational Church of Colebrook, Connecticut, and taught piano in his home studio.

Herbert Burtis, a graduate of Columbia University, gained international renown as a pianist, organist, and teacher of voice. He performed throughout Europe, the West Indies, and the United States. He was the author of several books on singing and a treatise on the piano methods of Theodor Leschetitzky. His vocal students perform at the Metropolitan Opera Company, the New York City Opera Company, and in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the world.

ELIGIBILITY

First-time applicants must be students who are graduating high school seniors who have been accepted in a conservatory or school of music for the fall term for the purpose of pursuing a career in some form of classical music. First-time applicants must be full-time residents of the Berkshire Taconic region. Exceptions may be made for students attending boarding schools whose families are currently residents of the Berkshire Taconic region.

AWARDS

The fund will support a small number of students at a very significant level. The fund will support scholarship tuition and related educational expenses throughout the student’s time in college and will also support costs associated with developing a career in classical music for up to three years after graduation. The student will report to the foundation annually on progress in their studies and/or career development.  

REVIEW PROCESS

Finalist applicants will be invited to audition for the fund’s advisory committee.  The committee includes individuals with expertise in classical music and a prior award recipient.  The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic’s Distribution Committee and Board of Directors.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The applicants will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of the applicants' performance
  • The applicants' efforts and ambitions to achieve their music and life goals
  • Financial need

NOTE: An award will only be given if an applicant meets the above criteria.

NOTIFICATION

Applicants will be informed of the foundation's decision no later than Aug. 1.

Award

The fund will support a small number of students at a very significant level


Deadline

March 15


Common App

Visit our online portal to complete our common application.

APPLY