Piano and Guitar

Music Major and Scholarship Applications

‌‌Students planning a major in music, music education, music performance, and music business are welcome to apply to the Department of Music any time before or during their studies at St. Thomas.  By completing the application before the February 1 deadline, new students can also be considered for a music major scholarship. Students selected to advance in the scholarship process will be invited to on-campus auditions.  Scholarships range from $1,500-$10,000 annually, and are renewable for four years of study.  For further details, select the description below that best matches your situation.

Still have questions?  Department of Music, (651) 962-5898; (800) 328-6819, ext. 2-5898; music@stthomas.edu.



Music Major and Music Scholarship Applications

Students new to the University of St. Thomas may apply to both the music major and music scholarships through their admission portal. If you have applied to St. Thomas already, use your current login credentials. If you have applied using the Common Application, create your St. Thomas login using the same email address as in the Common Application. If you have not yet applied, creating a login through the St. Thomas admission portal will begin the process.

Within the admission portal you will see a list of scholarships available. We encourage you to apply for a music scholarship. Doing so also acts as your application to the music major and requires the same steps. You will be asked to discuss your experiences and goals, submit contact information for two letters of recommendation, and provide a link to your online audition. To be considered for a music scholarship, complete this process by Feb. 1.

The audition should include up to 10 minutes of music showcasing at least two compositions or movements of contrasting style in one continuous video. See Audition Guidelines and Suggested Repertoire. Pieces should be performed with an accompanist if written for piano accompaniment. Your performance should not be edited. You may submit a separate video for each instrument, if auditioning on a secondary instrument. 

The Music Department will review applications in December and February at which time you will be notified of music major acceptance status.

Students selected to advance in the scholarship process will be invited to on-campus auditions.

Students are welcome to apply to the major anytime before or during their studies at St. Thomas. By applying before the Feb. 1 deadline, you can also be considered for a scholarship.

Current St. Thomas students planning a major in music, music education, music performance or music business should apply to the Department of Music in the rolling audition process.  The process includes a music major application, one music recommendation, a meeting with a music advisor and a performance audition. Students will be eligible to receive music scholarships after completing the rolling audition process and earning approval to study music as a major.

  1. Music Major Application - Complete the Undergraduate Music Major Application online.
  2. Recommendation - Ask your studio instructor, ensemble director and/or music professor to complete the online recommendation form.
  3. Advising appointment - If you have not yet met with a music advisor, contact:
    1. Dr. Alan Bryan, adbryan@stthomas.edu (vocalists)
    2. Dr. Steve Cole, steve.cole@stthomas.edu (music business, digital production)
    3. Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada, vanessa.cornett@stthomas.edu (pianists, organists)
    4. Dr. Matthew George, mjgeorge@stthomas.edu (other instrumentalists)
    5. Dr. Karen Howard, karen.howard@stthomas.edu (music education)
    6. Dr. Shersten Johnson, shersten.johnson@stthomas.edu (composition)
  4. Performance Audition - your audition should contain up to 10 minutes of music showcasing at least two compositions or movements of contrasting style. See Audition Guidelines and Suggested Repertoire.  You must perform with an accompanist if your pieces were written for piano accompaniment. Rolling auditions usually take place at the time of your jury or during in-house auditions. You may also schedule your audition by appointment with area head and studio instructor.

Please contact music@stthomas.edu with any questions.

In-House Audition applications are now being accepted for 2019-2020 Music Scholarships!  Please complete the form and submit your recording.  Recorded juries are an acceptable audition.  Applications will be accepted no later than Monday, May 20th (Study Day).

Music Major Scholarships

Eligibility for music scholarships requires that the student is an active music major. This means that the student is registered in the theory/history sequence of courses (or has completed them), performance level studies, and an appropriate ensemble for the student’s primary instrument.

Awards are designated for each of the following areas:

  • Voice
  • Keyboard
  • Woodwind, brass, percussion
  • Fretted and bowed strings
  • Composition

To be eligible and retain a scholarship a student is required to maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (B average). If at any time a student decides to withdraw from the music program that student’s scholarship package will only cover those semesters in which the student participated as a music major. For those students planning to study abroad, student teach, or serve in an internship, please contact the department chair to determine your status and eligibility.

Current majors may audition for a scholarship, or a possible upgrade, in May. These “in-house” auditions will only be held if some of the existing scholarship funds are not being used.


Additional Scholarships for Current St. Thomas Students

Intended Recipient

This award is based solely on potential of individual’s ability to instigate and sustain artistic creativity through music performance, or composition, or production.  The award is neither need-based nor GPA-based.  The award can go to a music major or non-music major.

Criteria for Evaluation/Selection

The intended recipient must demonstrate dedication to the musical craft, originality in musical thought, and vision for future development and honing of craft. 

Nomination Body

Candidates will be nominated by any member of the Music faculty and will be deliberated by the entire full time faculty of the Music Department.  The faculty member nominating the candidate will give a detailed description of how the nominee meets the criteria established above.

Expectations from the Recipient

It is expected that the recipient will do some sort of regular public service with his/her craft either through performance or production for any situation where a marginalized group is represented.

Intended Recipient

  • The scholarship recipient must be a St. Thomas student with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
  • The student must demonstrate financial need
  • The student must be pursuing a major or minor in music
  • Preference will be given to students participating in a UST music ensemble 

Nomination Body

Candidates will be nominated by any member of the Music faculty and will be deliberated by the entire full time faculty of the Music Department.  The faculty member nominating the candidate will give a detailed description of how the nominee meets the criteria established above.

Mary O. Petra Legacy Statement

"If there was ever someone who made me feel like the only way to live life was to follow your dream and passion, it was Mary." These words were written by one of the many people that Mary Olivia Petra mentored during her lifetime.

Mary was an accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist, and supporter of the arts. She had a love for the University of St. Thomas that went back to the early 1970s when her husband, Terry, was a graduate student and they lived in a little apartment on Laurel Avenue. She believed in the mission of UST and everything it stood for. As a little girl, I remember my mom taking us to play in the lower quad while my dad was busy on campus. It was here she began to nurture my dreams and teach me that all things were possible through faith in God and hard work. My mom was so proud when I became a Tommie because she knew the quality of the education and strong values I would gain during my college years. She knew this was the place where I could pursue my interests in music and business and create a life by design that would allow me to live out God's calling and make a difference.

Mary supported me in my career as an artist in addition to supporting countless others in theirs. She was always there to believe in us, letting us know that anything was possible. When she was reaching the end of her life she decided to leave behind a legacy gift to the University of St. Aromas. She wanted to develop a scholarship that would help students pursue their dreams. She loved this school and all it stands for. In her final days, as the scholarship was taking shape, she said, "I am so excited to leave behind a gift to the students, so they will know that someone always believes in them!" She had tears in her eyes and a big smile thinking of the students that would benefit from her gift. That sums up my mom. She was someone who believed in people. She believed that when people follow their dreams, anything is possible. When people live their calling, they make a difference; they make a positive impact in the world.

- Aimée Petra, daughter Mary Olivia Petra

Intended Recipient

  • Preference for a recipient who demonstrates financial need.
  • Recipient participates in the University of St. Thomas Liturgical Choir.

The Luann Dummer Center for Women is pleased to offer an undergraduate fellowship to students who will conduct research on women and/or gender-related issues. This award has been offered since the 1996-1997 academic year.

Proposals are accepted from students in all academic disciplines who will be juniors or seniors during the year of the fellowship. Students must be enrolled at St. Thomas during most or all of this time period. Preference will be given to applicants who have not already received LDCW funding for the proposed project.  Students who apply must secure a faculty sponsor; present research questions and goals, along with a timetable; demonstrate knowledge of current literature and research methods; and, indicate how the proposed research fits into the student’s development as a research scholar. A $4,000 stipend will be awarded to the student to support work on the project, and a $1,500 stipend will be provided to the faculty sponsor.

Complete information and application details can be found on the Luann Dummer Center for Women website.


Ensemble Scholarship Opportunities for Students Matriculated Before Fall 2019

The "Fine-Arts Award" includes the fulfillment of the fine arts core requirement with the completion of four semesters of large ensemble participation with no tuition charge.  Four semesters of participation in the following ensembles fulfills the fine arts core requirement: Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women's Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, or Guitar Ensemble.

Students earn one free credit per ensemble each semester.