About the Mosaic Scholarship

What is the Mosaic Scholarship? The Mosaic Scholarship was made possible through a gift from the Kellogg Foundation, which is managed by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and administered by the Grand Rapids Symphony, to provide funds for talented African-American and Latino students to take private, one-on-one lessons with a professional musician from the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Who is eligible to apply for the Mosaic Scholarship? Any African-American or Latino instrumental student ages 12-18 (with at least one year of high school remaining) living in or attending elementary, middle or high school in Kent County and has been playing their instrument for more than one year is eligible to apply for the scholarship.

What is the application process? Students and their parent/guardian must complete all of the information on the Application Form. Student applicants must include at least two (2) signed letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the student’s school music instructor. For elementary school students the second letter must be from the student’s classroom teacher. Additional letters are strongly encouraged and can be submitted from a pastor or other religious leader, coach, principal, or leader of another organization with which the student regularly participates. Letters should not be from a parent, guardian or family member. Additionally, students must also write a brief essay about the importance of music in their lives and why they would like to be selected as a Mosaic Scholar.

Click here to download a current application: /mosaic-scholarship-application

Are there restrictions concerning which instruments applicants can audition on? No, there are no restrictions, but preference will be given to instruments commonly used in the modern symphony orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, harp).

How are the Mosaic Scholarship winners selected? The winners will be selected by audition. The audition committee is comprised of Grand Rapids Symphony musicians and staff and local music educators. Students are required to play two (2) pieces of contrasting style (e.g. Fast/Slow, Baroque/Romantic, etc.) Any music acceptable for the Solo and Ensemble auditions is also acceptable for the Mosaic Scholarship auditions. Students should consult with their school music instructor to select their repertoire for the audition. Following the auditions, students will be notified by mail if they are a Mosaic Scholarship recipient.

If I am a Mosaic Scholarship recipient, how will I pick a teacher and when will my lessons start? Grand Rapids Symphony staff will pair each Mosaic Scholarship recipient with a musician from the GRS who will be their teacher. It is the responsibility of the Mosaic Scholar and the teacher to contact each other to select a mutually agreeable date and time for lessons. Lessons will begin in September.

How will the scholarships be paid out? Your scholarship money will be paid directly to your teacher.

Is there anything else that I should know? Yes! In addition to receiving money for your lessons and studying with a Grand Rapids Symphony musician, being a Mosaic Scholar provides you with a number of opportunities that will be available only to you! Here are some highlights:

  • Attend open rehearsals — Sit on stage next to your teacher for a GRS rehearsal to hear what it’s like to be in a professional orchestra.

  • Attend GRS concerts FOR FREE! — As a Mosaic Scholar, you and your family will be eligible to receive complementary tickets to select GRS concerts.    

  • Music books and supplies — All your music books and supplies as selected by your teacher for the time you are a Mosaic Scholar will also be provided free of charge.

  • Instrument Rental — If you do not own an instrument and are currently paying to rent one, your scholarship will also cover the cost of your instrument rental while you are a Mosaic Scholar.

Our Mosaic Scholars talk about their experiences in the program, and with writing their own piece that they premiered at the GR Symphony's Symphony with Soul concert in the video below.