Delaware School of Music Receives $10 Million Gift to Fund Scholarships

The Delaware School of Music receives the largest donation in its nearly 100-year history.

The school receives $10 million from a trust established by Mary Ellen Northrop.

John du Pont is the Chairman of the School of Music’s Board of Trustees and describes the story of the donation: “Back – I believe in 2013 – Mary Ellen Northrop was a lady who contacted our former Director of Development and through the through various telephone contacts. , emails, etc. – said she would like to do something for the school. Unfortunately, we never got to meet her in person.

When Northrop died in June 2021 – she ordered the money to be placed in the Mary Ellen Northrop Endowment Fund for Music Education to provide scholarships to qualified students in public, private or parochial schools – but not charter schools.

“These scholarships are for children in kindergarten to grade 12, eligible for tuition, purchase or rental of instruments – for all instrumental and vocal lessons, except guitar “said Larry Hamermesh – the treasurer of the music school‘s board of trustees. “Her Trust specifically excludes guitar instruction.”

Hamermesh says the music school will also find a way to cover guitar teaching.

Scholarships can provide a maximum of $5,000 per year in the first year. It also allows a second year to cover up to 50% of costs up to $5,000.

The scholarships are reserved for students whose family income is less than $150,000.

The trust should be able to fund more than 80 scholarships each year. The hope is that there will be enough return on the $10 million to start funding scholarships this fall.

Hamermesh says the music school staff will spend the next few months encouraging people to apply for the scholarships.

Artistic coverage by Delaware Public Media is made possible, in part, through support from the Delaware Arts Divisiona state agency dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Foundation for the Arts.


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