Friends of the School of Music 2020 Scholarship Wrap-Up

ANU School of Music Student Ally Howe
Thursday 10 December 2020

Thank you to the Friends of the ANU School of Music who have continued to be a source of practical and financial support to our students throughout a year like no other.

Congratulations to all 2020 Friends scholarship recipients!

Second-year piano student Ronan Apcar was awarded a Friends Performance Scholarship. The scholarship provides $5,000 per year for three years of Ronan’s undergraduate degree provided he continues to receive high level scores in performance subjects.

Two general student grants were awarded in 2020. One of these went to Ally Howe, a jazz violinist, who quickly adapted an original request for funding to travel to the USA for a summer school, to one for a program of online classes with a range of jazz and classical violinists both elsewhere in Australia and overseas. Ally has included a feedback report to read below. The second grant was made to Olivia Faletoese to attend an overseas summer class but as she was unable to travel, Olivia used a portion of the grant to have lessons online from the same organisation.

The Transition Award was also awarded to two students in 2020. $2,500 was presented to Marguerite Boland to prepare scholarly articles and a book proposal on Elliot Carter, and a further $2,500 to Oliver Reynolds to record his music score.

The Christel Larko Music Scholarship for first-year keyboard or voice students were awarded to Nick Chenery (jazz/ contemporary voice), Rhys Butterworth (classical piano), Christina Pilgram (classical voice) and Thomas Tregenza (jazz/ contemporary piano).

The Friends’ general music endowment provided Olivia Uebergang (jazz/ contemporary guitar) a first-year 2020 scholarship.

The Bernhard Neumann Memorial Prize for the outstanding fourth year student in 2020 will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Friends Ensemble Music Prize and the Fankhauser Travelling Fellowship were unable to be fulfilled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Feedback Report from Ally Howe

“It is with great pleasure that I inform you that I have completed my final online lesson, using the generous funds ($2380) I received from the Friends of the School of Music. I completed a total of 14 online lessons via Zoom and Skype, with both world-class jazz violinists and Lachlan Coventry, an ANU jazz guitar teacher. I commenced the lessons in March, and recently concluded in August 2020. The experience greatly exceeded my expectations.

“These last 6 months have been a particularly challenging time for musicians and the music industry. Many, if not all, gigs were cancelled and the large majority of musicians were left without work. Similarly, university classes were cancelled and many young musicians found it particularly difficult to keep up motivation for their studies and practice. This series of online lessons not only acted as an educational tool, but also encouraged me to continue practicing and learning despite the difficult climate.

“Regarding on-line learning for musical performance, I personally found it very enjoyable and efficient. All of the professional jazz violinists that I contacted were eager to teach me and it really allowed me to solidify my pathway as a jazz violinist. All of my teachers encouraged me to record the lesson, allowing me to refer back to the recordings weeks, months and years after the actual lesson. I also found it very easy to focus when learning online. The one downside was that certain elements of performance (such as violin posture, playing duets with the teacher, and audio quality) were reduced or lost. However, overall I found it incredibly useful.

“I would definitely recommend this form of education to fellow musicians, especially ones who wish pursue high-level performance in less common instruments/musical genres.”

For more information on the Friends of the ANU School of Music and to become a member, visit

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Updated:  10 December 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications