The Mildred Ellor May Scholarship is presented by the New Jersey Chapter of NATS every other year to New Jersey singers pursuing a career in opera. Mildred Ellor May (“Mimi”) was a long-time and dedicated member of New Jersey-NATS. Her love of performing and teaching classical opera is reflected in her most generous gift to our organization.
The Mildred Ellor May Scholarship is open to singers under the age of 35 currently pursuing a career or advanced study in classical opera. Applicants must be current New Jersey residents, or born and raised in New Jersey. Singers of diverse racial, ethnic and sexual identity groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must display exceptional promise, artistry, and dedication to creating a career in classical opera. Past recipients will not be eligible.
Application is by nomination only. Teachers will nominate eligible students, and provide a letter of recommendation. Applicants will submit a resume, a proposed plan for use of the scholarship, and a performance video to the chair of the Scholarship committee. The video should be a recent recording showing the breadth of the applicant’s current repertoire and technical facility, including three contrasting operatic arias. Additional repertoire is at the applicant’s discretion. Deadline for application will be May 1, 2022.
Recipients must continue their studies throughout the term of the scholarship, and scholarship funds are to be spent in furthering that study. Disbursement of funds will be split in two equal parts, recipients will submit evidence of continuing study and a current representative performance video before the second payment will be made. If the recipient is no longer deemed eligible, the scholarship will not continue past the first year.
$4000, to be divided into two payments of $2000. First payment will be made when the scholarship is awarded, the second will be made at the completion of the first year provided the recipient has continued to show exceptional promise, artistry, and dedication to a career in opera.
The Scholarship will be offered every two years. Teachers will submit nominations to the Mildred Ellor May Scholarship Committee and nominated singers will forward their application materials to the chair of the Committee. All materials must be received by May 1 of any given scholarship year. The Committee will examine all applications independently and meet to discuss the award. The Committee will keep in mind the express wishes of Mildred Ellor May, awarding the Scholarship to New Jersey singers showing exceptional promise, artistry and dedication to a career in opera. An announcement of the winner will be made by June 1. Committee members will meet again in May of alternate years to review the progress of the recipient, and to determine continuation of the award.
Committee shall be composed of three NATS members currently working with advanced and career-track singers. Teachers shall not adjudicate submissions of their own students, or adjudicate in years when they have nominated students. Teachers submitting nominations in any given scholarship cycle will serve on the committee for the cycle following their submission. Should the committee fail to attain a three-member board, one member of the NJ NATS administrative board may also serve.
How to Submit
To submit a scholarship application, please fill out the Google Form.
Materials are due by May 1, 2022.