Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
The Department of Music is proud to offer many different scholarships for music students!
Students can apply for Music Department scholarships via AcademicWorks during the open application window December 1 – March 1.
Scholarships recipients are announced during the spring semester and receive their award in the following academic year.
Each of the Music Department scholarships has unique eligibility criteria, and recipients are determined by a scholarship committee made up of Music Department faculty and in some cases, the donor.
Below are the specific criteria for each of the music scholarships. Please note, not every scholarship is available every year; the application will list the available scholarships for any given year.
Denver Lyric Opera Guild (Apply through the Voice Area Faculty)
Larry Worster Music Endowed Scholarship (Awarded in Fall semester only)
The L. Quinn-Rudolph Scholarship was established in 1999 by Tom and Lea Marshall to support MSU Denver music students with outstanding potential. The scholarship is named after Ms. Marshall’s musical mentors.
Beverly Fernald taught voice at Metropolitan State University of Denver from 1970 to 2002. Upon her retirement, the Beverly Fernald scholarship was established. The purpose of the scholarship is to support voice performance majors who hold Beverly’s high ideals for a career in performance and teaching.
In addition to submitting an application, applicants for the Beverly Fernald Scholarship will be required to participate in an audition. Applicants must perform one 3-5 minute piece of music that represents their vocal ability. Cuts are acceptable if needed. The audition date will be listed on each year’s application, and the scholarship committee will be in contact with applicants regarding audition scheduling information.
H. William Morse, Emeritus Professor of Music at MSU Denver and an outstanding music educator and conductor, taught from 1982 until his retirement in 2004. He served as the Director of the MSU Denver Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years and wishes that the endowed scholarship established in his name be used to assist an outstanding orchestral music student.
Christopher Priolo served as a part-time faculty member and Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at MSU Denver from 1982 until his untimely death in 1989. He was a gifted composer and teacher and was so missed by his family, friends, music department colleagues, and students that they created the Christopher Priolo Endowed Scholarship for Music Composition to honor and perpetuate his creative legacy.
Dr. Jerrald D. McCollum, Emeritus Professor of Music at Metropolitan State University of Denver, taught for twenty-nine years in the areas of music education, choral music and choral conducting. He received his degrees from Florida State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. As an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. McCollum served a three-year term as President of the 400-member Colorado division of ACDA, and was state advisor for the Colorado student chapters of Music Educators National Conference. Dr. McCollum was Organist/and or Director of Music for seventeen years at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church and Director of Music for eleven years at Wellshire Presbyterian Church. Upon retirement from MSU Denver, Dr. McCollum was awarded Emeritus status and was honored as Professor of the Year, 1998. In January 2001, Dr. McCollum organized the MSU Denver Alumni Choir—an auditioned choir of 40 singers who are alumni of the choral program at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Frank Gordon Edmonson (August 5, 1953 – November 28, 2002) was born in Denver, Colorado to Fan and Bill Edmonson. He grew up in Lakewood and Arvada and graduated from Arvada High School in 1971. He soon moved to Gold Hill, Colorado, where he was a founding member of the J. B. Stetson Sweat Band, playing guitar and fiddle. When the band broke up in 1975, he moved to Denver and became a guitar repairman at the Denver Folklore Center.
Through Frank’s work at the Folklore Center, he became friends with the members of the bluegrass group Hot Rize. In 1981 he was hired as the group’s “roadie.” Soon after, he added bus driving duties, and began learning sound reinforcement from a master, Hot Rize guitarist Charles Sawtelle. By summer of that year, he had become the group’s full-time sound engineer, maintaining band equipment and mastering many different sound boards all over the U.S. and in foreign countries from Europe to Japan and Australia. He also took the job of road manager, handling many critical details of Hot Rize’s busy touring schedule. At about this time, the group made Frank a full member in terms of both band decision-making and pay.
Following Hot Rize’s disbanding in 1990, Frank worked for a variety of artists including Lyle Lovett before becoming road manager and monitor engineer for multiple Grammy-winning Alison Krauss and Union Station. This close association lasted from 1994 to the end of his life. In off-time from Krauss, he toured with world-renowned dobro player Jerry Douglas and with Dan Tyminski, still doing occasional Hot Rize reunion dates. In 2002 he provided critical sound and organizational support to the two history-making “Down the Mountain” tours, involving many artists.
Although Frank never attended college, he became one of the leading sound engineers in the traditional acoustic music circuit. He was especially valued for his depth of knowledge and understanding in a field where true experts are relatively few. He learned his skills through hands-on experience and mentoring, fueled by his dedication to excellence. Although at first he had wanted to be a performing artist, he channeled his skills to enable many musicians to reach their audiences effectively, through his sound engineering and road managing. Throughout his career, Frank was appreciated for his straightforward, friendly manner and his clear desire to help everyone and everything he could. He was well-loved and highly respected far and wide by those with whom he worked.
Frank Edmonson’s story is an inspiration to all who strive to achieve a meaningful life. It is particularly appropriate to the students at MSU Denver, many of whom are struggling to establish themselves and to transform their futures. Like Frank, many MSU Denver students find ways to have significant involvement and impact on other’s lives, that they may never have imagined before attending MSU Denver. The Edmonson Scholarship is particularly appropriate for MSU Denver because of its Modified Open Door status, providing educational opportunities to all high school graduates, regardless of their previous levels of achievement, and MSU Denver’s sister institution status with UCD, at which course work in sound engineering is offered.
Gerald (“Jerry”) Ray Endsley (1945-2015) was a cornet soloist, band conductor, trumpet pedagogue, publisher, and university instructor. Endsley’s music career began in 1966 when he won the position of Cornet Soloist with the Denver Municipal Band. He performed as soloist and Principal Trumpet until 1995, when he assumed duties as conductor. Jerry was a leading freelance artist and music contractor in the Denver area, and was Second Trumpet of the Denver Symphony Orchestra during the 1978-79 season. He taught trumpet at the University of Denver from 1971 to 1976 and at Denver’s Metropolitan State College from 1978-79, where he later conducted the MSU Denver Community Band from 2005-2014. Jerry was known for his fine musicianship, helpful character, and keen sense of humor.
The Dale Bruning Jazz & Improvised Music Endowed Scholarship honors the life of influential jazz guitarist Dale Bruning and is offered to a student in the Jazz & American Improvised Studies concentration every year.
Dale Bruning was born and raised in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and played piano and guitar during his childhood. He spent four years touring with the US Navy Bands performing on guitar. Bruning moved to Denver in 1964 and began teaching and performing with notable jazz musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Frisell, and Chet Baker. Bruning is one of Colorado’s most influential, innovative, and important educators. Dale’s students, including Mr. Frisell, can be heard on recordings and bandstands around the world. Bruning is perhaps best known for the Dale Bruning Jazz Guitar Instruction Book Series. The first volume was published in 1997 and the series has received critical acclaim.