The BMI Foundation announced that it is now accepting online applications for its 2020 scholarship season, open to students attending colleges and universities nationwide. The Foundation will administer five distinct songwriting and composing scholarship competitions, judged by panelists of international musical acclaim. These annual programs include the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship, BMI Student Composer Awards, John Lennon Scholarship, peermusic Latin Scholarship and the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship. In addition, the Foundation administers two scholarship competitions outside the area of music creation: the BMI Founders Internship Program for broadcasting students, and the Woody Guthrie Fellowship for scholars pursuing topics or themes related to the American folk music progenitor.
This is an exceptional opportunity for new songwriters and composers to be recognized and supported for their work.” said BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick. “Our programs are designed to provide new writers with opportunities to build a firm foundation from which to launch their careers—and many have done so quite successfully.”
Most program applications must be completed online no later than January 15, 2020, though the Founders Award, Woody Guthrie, and Student Composer Awards have extended deadlines. For complete details and to apply, please visit http://bmifoundation.org/programs. Below is a complete list of BMI Foundation 2020 scholarship season opportunities.
BMI Founders Internship Program for Radio Broadcasting
Established in 2015, the BMI Founders Award is an annual internship program open to radio broadcasting students nationwide. The award commemorates the group of radio industry leaders who founded Broadcast Music, Inc. in 1939. A 4-6 week paid internship with a major broadcaster is awarded based on merit and the best original essay response submitted to the competition, and recognizes a student with the potential to become an innovator in the rapidly changing field of broadcast radio. bmifoundation.org/broadcast
BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship
The BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship will award $5,000 to a rising jazz star pursuing a graduate degree in Jazz Studies, Jazz Performance, or related majors. The award was established in 2015 in honor of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, a lifetime achievement recognition program of the National Endowment for the Arts. bmifoundation.org/jazzmaster
BMI Student Composer Awards
The 68th annual BMI Student Composer Awards will award $20,000 in prizes to young composers engaged in the study of classical music. Co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, the competition is open to all composers studying classical music who are age 27 or younger and citizens of the Western Hemisphere. Classical music luminaries such as John Adams, Aaron Jay Kernis and Augusta Read Thomas received their earliest recognition through this program. *Please note that the application deadline for this program is February 1st, 2020. bmifoundation.org/sca
John Lennon Scholarships
The 23rd annual John Lennon Scholarships will award three prizes totaling $20,000 to U.S. college-student songwriters (age 17 to 24) for the best original songs submitted to the competition. Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, this scholarship program honors the memory of one of the preeminent songwriters of the 20th century, John Lennon, and has become one of the nation’s most esteemed accolades for emerging artists. bmifoundation.org/lennon
Nashville Songwriting Scholarship
The fifth annual Nashville Songwriting Scholarship will award $5,000 for the best original song in any of the following genres: Americana, blues, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, country, folk, and roots. The contest is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24, who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States. GRAMMY-winning recording artist and BMI songwriter Kacey Musgraves endorses the competition and serves as a final judge. bmifoundation.org/nashville
peermusic Latin Scholarship
Established by music publisher Ralph Peer II and generously funded by peermusic, the 17th annual peermusic Latin Scholarship competition will award a $5,000 scholarship for the best original song or instrumental composition in any Latin genre. The contest is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24, who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States and Puerto Rico. Acclaimed Latin artist and BMI songwriter Gloria Trevi serves as honorary spokesperson for the competition. bmifoundation.org/peer
Woody Guthrie Fellowship
The 15th annual Woody Guthrie Fellowship will award up to $5,000 for scholarly research at the extensive Woody Guthrie Archives, a paper-based research repository located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Applicants must have a research project that leads to the creation of an original scholarly publication or product and requires a minimum of two weeks of research at the Archives. Established in 2005 in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Center, the Woody Guthrie Fellowship seeks to encourage unique exploration into the life and legacy of one of the most influential folk musicians in American history, Woody Guthrie. bmifoundation.org/guthrie
About the BMI Foundation
The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit www.bmifoundation.org. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Instagram and Twitter, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook at facebook.com/bmifoundation.