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Music Department
“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” – Leonard Bernstein

Help Support Music Scholarships!

Western's Department of Music is making scholarships the sole focus of our Give Day efforts, with two key priorities

  1. The continued cultivation of our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship aimed at recruiting, retaining, and supporting music students from underrepresented backgrounds. This new scholarship fund is a critical component in our efforts to create opportunities for a broader range of students.
  2. The general Music Department Scholarship fund, which gives us the flexibility to assist students with short-term emergency needs and help cover financial shortfalls that could otherwise prevent a talented student from attending.

If you would like to make a gift to one of our other scholarship funds, please follow the link at the bottom of this page.

Why Support Music Scholarships?

Musicians come to college with years of specialized experience under their belts. The most talented prospects are recruited by numerous institutions, and financial aid and scholarships are among the most critical factors influencing a student's decision where to attend. We are reliant on scholarship funds to recruit and retain a talented and diverse cohort of young musicians each year.

Additionally, the study of music involves significant, and often unexpected, extra expenses—from instruments to reeds to accompanist fees to recording equipment. 70% of WWU music students work full- or part-time to cover the costs of their education, challenging them to balance their jobs, class attendance, studying, practice, and personal health. Scholarship support can help alleviate the pressure of making ends meet and free our students to focus on their academic and creative pursuits.

In a broad survey of Western music students conducted just before the pandemic, nearly 60% of respondents reported that financial stress had interfered with their studies. 35% had experienced food insecurity in the past year, and 2% had navigated homelessness. Scholarship support is a lifeline for these students, and often the only thing keeping them afloat.

Why Invest in Young Musicians?

Two answers—one local and one global:

If you are a music lover and a member of the Bellingham community, then you know that our students and alumni perform in nearly every venue in the region, from the hundreds of performances on the WWU campus, to the Bellingham Symphony and Pacific Northwest Opera to nightclubs and neighborhood churches. Bellingham is a special place, and our graduates often stay here for many years after their time at Western has ended. An investment in WWU musicians is an investment in the artistic future of our community.

On a larger scale, in our increasingly polarized world, one of the most effective tools we have to bridge the gap between perspectives is empathy. And one of the most powerful vehicles for empathy is art. Thanks to its miraculous capacity to communicate both universal and highly personal meanings simultaneously, music carries with it a deeply elemental quality to which all humans can relate, no matter their background or affiliations. To engage with music is to be reminded of our shared humanity. Music can bring people together in deeper and more powerful way than almost any other experience, and can help to forge connections across political, ideological, and cultural divides. In this respect, an investment in WWU musicians and music educators is a tangible investment in the future health and well-being of our world.

Please click here to support the WWU Music Department's full list of scholarship funds

Every gift on Give Day matters and makes a difference. Thank you for your support!

Early Bird Challenge!
Thank you! Your generosity has unlocked an additional $5,000 match before most people even got up for the day!
The Number One Vikings Match!
Thank you, Vikings! You who made the first $1,000 in gifts earned an ADDITIONAL $1,000 through a generous match!
$1,000 MATCHED
New Grad Match Opportunity!
Thank you new Vikings! You've raised an additional $3,000 in support for current WWU students and programs!
WWU Retirement Association Scholarship Challenge
Thank you, Vikings! You've met this challenge and helped unlock $3,000 in scholarship money for current Western students!
$3,000 / $3,000 Raised
3,000th Donor Challenge!
Thank you, Viking supporters! More than 3,000 of you have made gifts for Give Day, which is the most participation we've ever had in a Give Day!
Night Owl Challenge
Thank you! Your gifts helped raise an additional $2,000 for Kaiser Borsari Hall!
2,000th Donor Challenge!
Thank you! The 2,000th donor has unlocked an additional $750 for men's rowing!
Last Call!
Thank you! You've unlocked an additional $5,000 as a matching gift!
50-state Challenge!
Thank you, Vikings near and far, for helping unlock an additional $5,000 of support for WWU students!
College of Fine and Performing Arts Donor Challenge!
The department, project or program in CFPA that receives the highest number of unique donors will receive an extra $1,000! Final results available after we process all Give Day gifts. Inflating donor count using fake donor names may disqualify a project, department, or program.
Rank Prize CFPA Donor Challenge! Donors
1 $1,000 Western Symphony Orchestra Spain Tour 2023 30
2 Theatre Arts 14
3 Music Department 14
4 Music Department Scholarships 8
5 Art and Art History Department 7
Lunchtime Crunchtime
Thanks, Vikings! You've unlocked an additional $5,000 in support for students on your lunch break.
Rank Prize Lunchtime Crunchtime Challenge! Donors
1 $2,500 Cross Country & Track and Field 95
2 $2,500 Men's Rowing 36
3 Women's Ultimate 13
4 Computer Science 9
5 Marketing Program 9
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