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

Help Support Music at Western!

Western's Department of Music is making scholarships the primary focus of our 2024 Give Day efforts, with three key priorities

  1. The continued cultivation of our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Scholarship aimed at recruiting, retaining, and supporting music students from underrepresented backgrounds. Now in its second year, this scholarship fund is a critical component in our efforts to create opportunities for the broadest possible range of students.
  2. Support for the WWU Percussion Ensemble for its upcoming trip to the 2024 Edeta Arts International Percussion Festival in Lliria, Spain, this summer.
  3. General Music Department funding to support day-to-day operations, special projects, equipment purchases, and other expenses.

If you would like to make a gift to one of our many 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 Orchestra 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!

Recent Grad Match Opportunity!
Thank you new Vikings! You've raised an additional $3,000 in support for current WWU students and programs!
$3,000 MATCHED
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
2,000th Donor Challenge!
Thank you! The 2,000th donor has unlocked an additional $750 for the designation of choice.
2,000 / 2,000 Donors
Last Call!
Thank you! You've unlocked an additional $5,000 as a matching gift!
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 90
2 $2,500 Western Symphony Orchestra 57
3 Varsity Volleyball 49
4 Men's Rowing 28
5 Ice Hockey 15
Early Bird Challenge!
Thank you! Your generosity has unlocked an additional $5,000 match before most people even got up for the day!
3,000th Donor Challenge!
Thank you, Viking supporters! We haven't hit 3,000 yet, but we're still tallying all the offline gifts we've received and will update the numbers ASAP!
Night Owl Challenge
Thank you! Your gifts helped raise an additional $2,000 for the Western Welcome Scholarship!
2,615 / 2,615 Gifts
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 74
2 WWU Music Department 30
3 Theatre Arts 17
4 Dance 9
5 Music Department Scholarships 7
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