Scholarships | Music | Concordia University Irvine

Music Scholarships

Picture a community of close friends and mentors just the right size to field a first-rate college orchestra, band, several choirs and handbell ensembles, jazz program, worship bands, bluegrass band, and a commercial music program - all working in a newly-constructed, premium facility for rehearsals, practicing, and recording. This community is a rich assortment of music majors and many students from majors across the university who are also committed to musical excellence. This community - modeling the best size, facilities, friendship, and Christian ministry - is Concordia!

Music scholarships, ranging up to the highest awards, are available for Concordia's full-time students from any major. They add an additional valuable layer to your financial aid package, which may include academic merit, need-based, church worker grants, and other institutional aid.

Music Scholarship Interest Forms

A music scholarship interest form must be completed before any audition is scheduled. Please fill out this form as soon as you decide that you might want to audition.

Who should audition?

  • We welcome auditions from any student within one year of their potential enrollment.
  • Students do not need to be accepted to Concordia before being granted auditions.
  • Students applying for Christ College Church Vocations Scholarships should also audition for music scholarships. In some cases, their tuition discount may be maximized beyond what Christ College guarantees.
  • Students applying for Honors and Presidential Honor Scholarships should audition for music scholarships, which may provide additional financial aid to top academic students.

Concordia does not limit the music scholarship amounts for non-music majors. Therefore, music scholarships are for all students, regardless of planned major!

Audition Dates

Please schedule an audition by contacting Auditions are accepted through May 31. Special requests for auditions will be accommodated through Aug. 10, but faculty availability is very limited.

Video submissions may be emailed to through Aug 10. Please note that any sample video included on the music scholarship interest form is not considered a video audition. Video auditions must follow the guidelines at

Award Availability

Celebrating the opening of the Borland-Manske Center, the University has increased the music scholarship budget for students entering in Fall 2019. As of May 7, there is enough scholarship funding remaining to award app. 14 more music scholarships.

Award Areas

Students may audition and accept awards in multiple musical areas, which is likely to increase the student music award (as well as the time commitment). Music awards are available to students from any major.

Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion - Those awarded will be assigned to Concordia Wind Orchestra. Some will also be assigned to Concordia Sinfonietta. These awards are the largest music awards, by average, due to the advanced training required and the demands of potential assignment to CWO and Sinfonietta.

Strings - Awarded students are assigned to Concordia Sinfonietta.

Choir - Basses/baritones/tenors are, on average, the highest awards in this area, as we often have fewer auditions on these voice parts than for soprano and alto. Singers populate three different choirs at Concordia, with placement occurring during the first week of classes.
Please note: Concordia is currently accepting music scholarship meetings for singers with minimal experience - these meetings do not carry the same requirements as full auditions. No music needs to be prepared. Those that want to be eligible for the higher voice awards need to complete the full audition requirements.

Worship/Commercial Ensembles - These awards are given to talented students in guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. (Note: Vocalists are awarded for choir scholarships, but an advanced meeting with the Director of Commercial and Worship Bands is requested to discuss participation). A separate placement audition for worship/commercial ensembles is held during the first week of classes.

Handbells - Awarded students will be assigned to one of several handbell ensembles during the first week of classes.

Jazz - In most cases, students must accept a scholarship in another ensemble to be eligible for additional support as a jazz musician.

Americana - To support the Americana Ensemble, Concordia seeks string instrumentalists with significant experience in bluegrass, country, folk, swing, and other traditional acoustic musical genres. Priority will be given for banjo, fiddle, and other specialized instrumentalists. (Note: Band/orchestral instrumentalists and singers are awarded for orchestra/choir, respectively, but should also meet the Americana director in advance to discuss participation.)

Organ - Concordia is a national leader in church music. Students with any level of experience on organ are encouraged to audition. Qualified pianists who wish to pursue committed organ study during their college studies are also invited to apply and audition.

Piano - Awarded to advanced pianists who are capable of being assigned to an orchestra, accompaniment, or an advanced chamber music ensemble. Those who are not assigned will be required to participate in a suitable music ensemble.

Composition/Songwriting - Students with an advanced portfolios of finished work are encouraged to meet with composition/songwriting faculty. Reduced tuition grants to study privately are available.

Theatre - Awards are available for talented actors and actresses. See for details and the Theatre Scholarship Interest Form.

Award Amounts

Awards will be at these approximate levels:

  • $10,000 - a select few may be awarded at this level due to exceptional skill in areas of greatest need
  • $4,000 - $10,000 - for students with advanced, trained musical proficiency in areas needed the most in our ensembles
  • $1,000 - $4,000 - to encourage continuous participation in our ensembles
  • Invitation - although funds are not extended, these students are invited to participate in ensembles and may receive the discounted private lesson rates

Music majors have a tremendous opportunity to apply for scholarships at Concordia University Irvine. In fact, students accepting Music scholarships enjoy some of the largest financial aid packages that we offer – ranging from 40% to over 100% off of tuition! We strongly encourage those who are interested in pursuing Music at Concordia to: 1) achieve academically, 2) audition confidently, and 3) complete the FAFSA to be eligible for need-based aid. Doing all three will maximize your award.

The budget for music/theatre scholarships is limited. The following factors will be considered by faculty when determining award amount: most needed musical skill sets, level of proficiency, leadership potential, service, amount of need-based awards, amount of other institutional aid. Please note that if other institutional aid changes after a music/theatre award is extended, the award amount may have to be reconsidered as we have to meet tuition discount targets.

Music/Theatre scholarships renew at the same dollar amount annually, as long as students remain in good standing in their performance groups.

Note: Concordia University irvine is a Collegiate Partner of Lutheran Summer Music Academy. Any alumnus of that outstanding training ground for high school students will receive an annual, renewable bonus of $1,000 added to any music scholarship amount awarded (this will, over time, pay for the LSM Academy as well as some extra Concordia tuition).

Why Concordia?

  • small university
  • challenging, renowned Q & I curriculum
  • high performance standards
  • many performance groups - band/orchestra/choirs/handbells/praise bands/jazz/chamber music/commercial music
  • access to all groups for non-music majors
  • lots of performing experience in memorable concerts, often attended by large audiences
  • music majors are mentored by multiple faculty
  • Christian community
  • conservatory-like approach to musical excellence & liberal arts approach to broad academic preparation
  • almost all musicians take private lessons, with the majority of the cost subsidized by the university
  • financially well-resourced: faculty, operating budget, touring budget, SCHOLARSHIPS
  • international tour rotation among major ensembles - cost heavily subsidized by the university
  • new music facility will open in 2019!!! (state of the art rehearsal halls, teaching studios, practice rooms, recording studio)
  • really, really nice students and faculty/staff
  • supportive, dedicated audiences

Students who complete the Music Scholarship Interest Form reserve their eligibility for funds, even though they will audition at a later date.

Music scholarship interest form

Audition Dates

Music scholarship auditions continue to be accepted on a rolling basis. To reserve your music audition, fill out a music scholarship interest form and then request date and time by emailing Auditions will be granted throughout the spring. The University has granted the Music Department an extra large scholarship fund this year in celebration of the opening of the Borland-Manske Center. This is a tremendous opportunity for any student with some level of music ensemble experience.

Concordia accepts music scholarship auditions from any student considering our university. Neither a completed university application nor acceptance is a pre-condition for auditioning for a music scholarship.

2 Simple Steps for Music Scholarships

  1. Music Scholarship Interest Form
    Please fill out this online form to introduce yourself to us. It will take 5-10 minutes to complete. (Note: You cannot save and return to this form. Be prepared to complete it in one sitting.)
  2. Audition Requirements and Scheduling
    Optional: If you would like to submit additional documentation: music resume, recommendation, performance video, please send it to