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Every Dollar Makes a Difference
Outstanding Students Applaud Music Scholarships

One talented musician can impact the experience of an entire ensemble. With that in mind, the School of Music’s Advisory Board established the Top Freshman Award in 2015. Think of it as a signing bonus. This four-year award offers an extra incentive, on top of other scholarship awards, for outstanding musicians to come to, and stay at, the U. The Advisory Board raises the funds for these awards from its annual Camerata Awards Gala.

The five outstanding students who received the Top Freshman Award in 2020-21 talk about what music means to them and why scholarship support is critical to their success.


cossa“I adore singing and performing for an audience. It gives me a surge of pride when I can present a piece that I have prepared technically and emotionally. There is something about performing that cannot be found anywhere else… the communication of emotions and stories that cannot be told with the same magnitude using words. The generosity of your donation will help me focus on my studies. Thank you so much.”

-Isabel Cossa, freshman vocal performance major

 “This scholarship has helped me greatly by allowing me the extra time off of work to practice and experience [my education] as best as I can. Once I graduate, I would love to teach, alongside performing as much as I can…I find performance to be rather exhilarating. I thank the Advisory Board for this incredible opportunity to do what I hold so very dear.”

-Conner Harris, freshman cello performance major

“Music is such an amazing art. It is something that reflects society and the complexities of individuals at the same time. It is a unique and incredible tool for expression that I hope to have the privilege of enjoying for the rest of my days. This is why your contribution to my education is so valuable to me. With your help, I can be successful in something that is so special to me. Thank you very much for contributing to my education in music.”

-Zane Peterson, junior jazz performance major

“Music has always been a soothing outlet throughout good and pressing times in my life. To be able to create music is amazingly satisfying. As I get ready to finish my academic career, I reflect on all the support I have received over the years and I am thankful beyond words. I am not lost to the fact that without assistance from persons [such] as yourselves, my dream to educate in the field of music would never have come to fruition.”

-Preston Gilbert, senior instrumental music education major

“I feel truly honored to be the recipient of this scholarship, and receiving something like this does nothing but validate and give me hope to continue to pursue a career in music. My first couple of years have been full of so many great memories, like playing concertos with orchestras, finding people who share my musical and academic tastes, and developing a work ethic that should benefit me throughout my life. This would not have been possible without your support.”

 -Jacob Lobrot, senior piano performance major

Last Updated: 3/22/23