Composition for Soloists

The Department of Music announces its annual Competition for Soloists. The competition will select students to perform as soloists in the College Orchestra’s spring concerts.

The competition is open to all Vassar students (singers and instrumentalists). Students should audition with a movement of a concerto, an aria or a short piece with orchestra.

Apply Here

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, November 19th, before 9pm. Auditions will be on Wednesday, December 1st, starting at 7:00 pm.

Interested students must consult with Mr. Navega (ednavega) about the viability of their audition piece before starting to prepare their piece.

For more information, please contact our Orchestra Director, Eduardo Navega at

Kate Chittenden Memorial Scholarship for Summer Study 2022

For Music Majors

Deadline: April 29, 2022, 12:00 p.m.

The Department of Music is pleased to announce the Kate Chittenden Memorial Scholarship for assistance in summer study. All music majors, including graduating seniors and sophomores who declare by the end of the deadline, are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to students who have not previously received support from this source. Students are urged to investigate worthy summer programs for performers and composers, programs of academic study or research at other institutions in this country and abroad, or programs of study that will assist in the development of new skills.

Students interested in applying should submit:

  1. A brief description of the proposed program of study, making clear the purpose for which the scholarship is sought.
  2. A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s major professor or advisor.
  3. A list of expenses (tuition, room and board, travel, scores, etc.).
  4. Performers may be asked to prepare a brief audition or submit a recording. Composers should submit samples of scores and/or recordings of compositions.

Proposals, score/recording samples, and letter of recommendation should be submitted to no later than Friday, April 29, 2022 at noon.

*If you have been accepted into a summer program and the deadline to commit is prior to April 29, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Lucia V. Torian ’69 Award

The Vassar College Department of Music announces the eighth annual Lucia V. Torian ’69 Prize for Music for summer 2022. The award is intended to support one student—a graduating senior or an exceptional undergraduate—by providing the resources to attend a competitive music festival or summer training program in North America or abroad. To be eligible for the award, the student must have been accepted into such a program. The recipient will be a classical musician who looks to pursue a career in performance and, in the judgment of the selection committee, has the potential to achieve a professional level in the near future. In the event no individual qualifies, the award will be postponed.

To qualify, applicants must be nominated by their teacher and must obtain an additional recommendation from another music professional. They must also have performed a solo recital and/or appeared as a soloist with the Vassar Orchestra. Additional performances, such as on Monday afternoon recitals, are encouraged and may be required at the end of the semester. Additional recordings or videos may be requested by the committee.

STAGE 1: Applicants should express intent to apply for this award to their teacher. This includes, in writing, a brief description of the program or programs applied to and the opportunities these would make available to the candidate. The teacher should then formally nominate the candidate to the department chair no later than Friday, April 1, 2022, 12:00 pm. We encourage faculty to nominate students as early as possible.

STAGE 2: Once acceptance into a program is received, the student will submit all materials listed below to by *Friday, April 15, 2022, 12:00 p.m. or earlier:

  • Documentation of acceptance to the program
  • A short one-page cv/resume detailing relevant performance experience
  • An estimated list of expenses required to participate in the program  

Two letters of recommendation will be sent confidentially to no later than April 15, 2022:

  • One letter from the applied music teacher (who must be a member of the faculty at Vassar College)
  • One from another certified music professional who can attest to the applicant’s qualifications for this program

*If you have been accepted into a summer program and the deadline to commit is prior to April 15, please submit your application as soon as possible.

The award will be announced in May.

Please direct all questions to Christine Howlett, chair of the department.

The Edson Prize in Music Composition

Amount of Award:
Multiple awards ranging $500-$2000
Applicants must be current, full-time Vassar students. They need not be music majors, but they should have studied composition in the department.
Each applicant should submit one composition (score and/or recording link as applicable). No more than one composition by an individual will be considered in any given year.
The work submitted may be instrumental, vocal, electronic, or mixed media.
Direct any questions to Associate Professor Christine Howlett, chair of the music department:
Scores and recordings with a brief cover letter and curriculum vitae should be submitted to the Music Department by Friday, April 29, 2022. Please send all submissions to

This prize was established in 1987 with a gift from the estate of Jean Slater Edson ’28, for an “annual prize in music composition to be awarded by the Music Department.”

Lucia V. Torian Music Lesson Scholarship 2022-2023

Application Instructions and Form

A generous donation has been made to support up to two students (juniors or seniors) to take a second set of private music lessons (instrument/voice) in the Vassar College Music Department. To be eligible to apply for this scholarship next year, you must be a rising junior or a senior; you must have taken lessons at Vassar in your freshman and/or sophomore year, and you must be enrolled in private lessons this spring.

All students will be considered, regardless of financial aid status or major. 

To apply:

1. Please fill out the google form by Monday, May 2, 2022. You will be able to go back and edit your submission if you like.

2. Request a letter of recommendation from your current private teacher at Vassar and have it sent to (Do this right away!)

3. Arrange an audition for the second set of lessons you are interested in studying. Please contact the teacher as soon as possible to arrange an audition by the end of the semester. (Please contact Alix Hoffman if you need help with this at

The form and the letter of recommendation are due on or before Monday, May 2, 2022. Letters of recommendation should be submitted to

Please note:  Music lesson scholarships must be paid back by the student if the student drops the lessons or fails the course.