La Sierra University offers region’s youth $16,000 in music scholarships

April 9, 2012

By Darla Martin Tucker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( The region’s musically gifted high school juniors and seniors may want to spend a little more time this month practicing their instruments and singing scales. On May 6 they will have an opportunity to compete for a total of $16,000 in scholarship prizes toward tuition at La Sierra University.

The university’s music department is rolling out its first Promising Young Artist Festival and Competition, a day of music classes and 15 minute competitive auditions from which winners will be chosen for a first place $10,000 scholarship, a second place $5,000 scholarship and a third place $1,000 scholarship to attend La Sierra. Cash prizes of $500, $350, and $150 will also be given out respectively for first, second, and third place winners. In addition, all festival participants will receive a voucher for a free lesson at a later date with a music faculty member.

The scholarship competition is open to high school juniors and seniors. Juniors are eligible for the competition’s third place prize and will qualify to compete for first and second prizes during their senior high school year.

La Sierra’s enrollment services and music departments are funding the scholarship program, one of the largest offered by the university.

La Sierra University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution that attracts many students from regional Adventist academies. The scholarship program is the brainchild of music department Chair Elvin Rodriguez and academy music directors and teachers who also serve as adjunct instructors at La Sierra. The competition is also being offered to public school students and is intended to serve as a vehicle for attracting talented local youth.

Most students who are serious musicians have already competed many times before graduating from high school, and for such individuals “the notion of competing for a prize is not a novelty, but rather an expectation,” Rodriguez said. “Offering something like this is appealing to the students because it’s another opportunity to refine and test their hard work.” Parents are also excited when their child has the opportunity to earn college scholarship, he continued. “It validates the investment they have made.”

The May 6 festival will begin at 8 a.m. and will include master classes with music faculty, lunch, and the adjudicated auditions. The competition judge panel will include music department faculty. A dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony and a performance by one of the music department’s chamber ensembles.

By April 25 students must submit an application, a complete repertoire list including titles and movements, four copies of his or her competition piece, a recommendation letter from his or her music instructor, and a $50 registration fee. Competitors must also bring along their accompanist for the scholarship audition, which may not exceed 15 minutes.

An application is available at this link:

Additional information is available at 951-785-2036 or by email at


PR Contact: Larry Becker

Executive Director of University Relations

La Sierra University

Riverside, California

951.785.2460 (voice)

  • Last update on  April 09, 2012