NIU Community School of the Arts


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Scholarships and Competitions 2015 - 2016 

Since the scholarship program was started in 1993, over $85,000 has been raised and more than 650 area children have received financial aid to pursue their study of the arts. The scholarship program is funded mainly through fundraising activities, such as the Performathon, Barnes and Noble Recital and Book Fair, and other benefit recitals.

Other contributors to the fund include many private donors, Target Stores, the Mary E. Stevens Fund, the DeKalb County Community Foundation, and AG Communication Systems. Consider making a contribution to the fund. Your donation is tax deductible.  

Mission Statement

As a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the NIU Community School of the Arts is committed to making arts education accessible to all. The mission of the community school is to promote artistic growth among all people in the community. The school encourages lifelong involvement in the arts and to this end, provides a place where students at all levels of ability can come together to experience the arts, regardless of the ability to pay.  

Need Scholarships 

The NIU Community School of the Arts’ need scholarship program provides financial assistance to students 18 years old and younger who are interested in arts instruction - either private lessons, classes, or ensembles - but who are unable to pay the full fee. Partial scholarships are allocated by the scholarship advisory board on the basis of need, demonstrated interest, and available funds.  Scholarships are awarded in fall and spring only.

Application forms must be completed and returned to the office at the beginning of fall and spring semesters, click here for deadlines. Announcements of awards will be made within one week of the application deadline. Those applying for financial assistance should send the registration fee only ($15) with their form; billing arrangements will be made later.

Those applying for need scholarships must provide requested financial information and a recommendation from a teacher (if possible, by a music teacher). Applications lacking either of these are not considered complete and will not be considered by the scholarship committee.

Talent Scholarships for Young Musicians 

Each year, the program awards six scholarships worth $250 to talented musicians who demonstrate during an audition a high level of skill and musicianship. The scholarships are awarded to two students in each of the following grade categories: Elementary (grades 3 - 5), Junior (grades 6 - 8), and Senior (grades 9 - 12). All instruments are welcome. Applicants must be current students in the community school, either studying privately or enrolled in an ensemble. Applicants who take lessons on two instruments may audition on both, but are expected to submit two application forms and pay the application fee twice.

1. Interested applicants should submit an application form to the office.
2. All applicants will be required to attend an audition.
3. Honor's Recital - All of the six talent scholarship winners perform in the annual Honor's Recital in the music building.
4. Note - Those awarded scholarships may not compete for two years (two full cycles) after receving the award.
5. Dates and Deadlines - Click here for important dates and deadlines.

CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition

This competition is for musicians who are 18 years old or younger and who live within a 75-mile radius of DeKalb. Players are expected to perform one memorized movement of a standard concerto or work with orchestral accompaniment. Competitors need not be members of CSA Sinfonia. Winners may not compete again on the same instrument. The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the March concert.  Interested applicants should submit an application form to the office. Click here for dates and deadlines.  

Fundraising Events:  Performathon - March 9, 2016

Join the fun at the 2016 Performathon.  This event brings the community school together for a gala day of performances, photos from the past year, an art exhibit from our Art Express students, a raffle, the famous music swap, a bake sale, and much more.  Back by popular request in 2016 is the teeshirt design competition!  This fund-raising event (held every two years) provides funding for the scholarship programs.  Consider joining the Performathon Planning Committee.  More information and participation forms will be available online and from teachers later in fall semester.  A final report is available for the Performathon 2014.