Distinguished Graduate Scholarship Policy
The Great Falls High School Music Alumni Association offers scholarships to qualified music students of Great Falls High School (GFHS), Great Falls, MT. These scholarships are intended to further the formal education of eligible students who have shown a commitment to excellence in the performance of music and an appreciation for the camaraderie and lasting friendships that arise from participation in a performance ensemble.
The Great Falls High School Music Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Scholarship Award recognizes a graduating senior who has participated in the band, orchestra, or choral music programs at GFHS. This student is recognized for commitment to individual performance excellence and ensemble success. This commitment has been demonstrated by individual preparation and by the support this student has shown to others in the student’s section and the larger group. This student has demonstrated generosity of spirit and a commitment to share time and talent in support of the music and musicians of GFHS. This scholarship is renewable for a total of four years as long as the scholar continues to meet eligibility requirements. The scholarships can be used to support any area of academic need. Scholarship awards shall be paid directly to the Financial Aid Office at the recipient’s school.
Eligibility for the Great Falls High School Music Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Scholarship Award is limited to graduating seniors with sufficient academic standing to be eligible for graduation from GFHS who will be attending a two or four year institute of secondary education that is accredited by a nationally recognized body for the student’s chosen field of study.
To be eligible for the Distinguished Graduate Scholarship Award, the student must have participated in the music program of the high school attended for at least 75% of the semesters enrolled. If the student transferred to Great Falls High Schools after starting high school elsewhere, the student must have participated in the music program of Great Falls High School for at least 50% of the semesters attended and have participated during the senior year.
Scholars will be required to submit evidence of continued eligibility each year in order for the scholarship to be renewed. Review and confirmation of eligibility will be performed by the same body that is evaluating new candidates for awards. Eligibility for renewal is limited to students with sufficient academic standing to be eligible for graduation who continue to attend a not-for profit two or four year institute of secondary education that is accredited by a nationally recognized body for the student’s chosen field of study and who continue to show commitment to supporting music. Evidence of support for music may include, but is not limited to pursuit of a course of study listed below under “Selection of Recipients” as a minor, participation in music performance groups outside of educational institutions, or support of music performance groups in a technical or administrative capacity.
Selection of Recipients
Students will be selected for the Great Falls High School Music Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Scholarship Award award based on the following criteria. The relative weight given to each criteria shall be as indicated. Sub-bullets are intended to indicate possible ways a student may have demonstrated the desired characteristic, but should not be considered to be complete, comprehensive, or proscriptive of other ways of demonstration.
- Leadership as demonstrated by service to the success of the GFHS music program (40%)
- Individual performance excellence
- Support and encouragement of peers
- Support of faculty through volunteer time spent in preparation of performance space, equipment logistics, etc.
- Service as Drum Major, concertmaster/concertmistress, or other recognized student leadership position in the music department.
- Support of GFHS music department reputation in the community (30%)
- Performance as a member of All-state band, orchestra, or choir
- Membership in additional volunteer performing ensembles (Great Falls Municipal Band, Pep Band, Marching Band, University of Great Falls Summer Musical, church choral or praise groups, garage bands, small group ensembles, etc.)
- Commitment to a course of university study that would typically lead to professional employment intrinsically involving music (15%)
- Music Performance
- Music Education
- Music Therapy
- Music Management
- Music Theory
- Music Composition
- Academic performance as reflected in GPA (10%)
- Participation in multiple departments of the GFHS music program (5%)
The Association will make the award to the student(s) nominated by a selection committee made up of the GFHS music department faculty, the GFHS Principal or an Assistant Principal as delegated by the Principal, and one member of the GFHS counseling staff. The selection committee shall use the criteria contained within this policy to make its evaluation and selection and shall provide to the Association the materials used for evaluation of candidates and the relative ranking of each candidate.
It is the intent of the Association that scholarship awards are as equally distributed among the GFHS music departments as possible. To that end, guidance is given here for the mechanism of determining the department from which a student will be selected for an award. The Association recognizes that changes in circumstances may occur over time that may make this guidance impractical. Other mechanisms that honor the intent of the Association are permitted with the approval of the Scholarship Committee and the Board of Trustees.
In years where a single award is available, selection of the student for the award shall rotate among the GFHS music departments in such a manner as to equally distribute the award among them over time. The first award given shall be to a band student. In the event that there is an interruption in the availability of scholarship awards, the rotation shall resume where it left off to the extent practical at the time of resumption.
Students who are related to or have a financial relationship with a selection committee member are not eligible for the program. If a selection committee member would like a relative or someone with whom they have a financial relationship to be eligible for the program, the committee member must opt out of committee service for that year.
The Association requires all selection committee members to sign a Conflict of Interest Agreement. If a selection committee member knows any of the candidates personally, or are in a position to potentially receive any kind of personal benefit if a certain candidate is selected, that relationship to the candidate must be disclosed to the selection committee so it can be reviewed during the eligibility review process. If the selection committee determines that there is a conflict, that candidate shall be removed from consideration or that committee member will be removed from committee service for that year.