BMI Foundation Launches 2021 Scholarship Season

The BMI Foundation is now accepting online applications for its 2021 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 2021, and applicants should visit the company’s website for specific deadlines for each program. Those interested in applying for a scholarship can visit bmifoundation.org/programs.

More details on each scholarship are below:

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 69th 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 from John Adams to Tonia Ko received their earliest recognition through this program. bmifoundation.org/sca

John Lennon Scholarships
The 24th 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 sixth 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 18th  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

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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