Scholarships & Awards: Stevenson Instrumental Music Program

Annual Instrumental Music Scholarships & Awards

The Stevenson Instrumental Music Department, the Stevenson Band Boosters, and Utica Community Schools join forces to offer students opportunities to earn scholarships and awards each school year.




Louis Gonda Memorial Music Scholarship

  • Established to fund opportunities for UCS band students to further their music education
  • Over the years, the Gonda Fund has enabled hundreds of students to attend music camps, take private lessons or otherwise enrich their music study
  • Primary funding source is through admissions at UCS' annual Band-a-Rama Marching Band Show
  • Open to Instrumental Music students in 9th - 11th grades that receive a 1st Division Rating at District Solo & Ensemble Festival
  • 2021 Auditions: Date & Location TBA


Utica Community Schools - Louis Gonda Scholarship Information 2021

  1. Auditions will take place at TBA. First come, first served
  1. There will be an audition fee payable at the audition (amount TBA)
  1. Each audition will have a 3-minute time limit; students will play in the order which they arrive. Please pick and choose YOUR BEST section in your solo if it is over 3 minutes
  1. Eligibility:
    • a. Instrumental Music Student’s grades 9-11 are eligible, see section C below
    • b. Students must continue playing their instrument in the UCS district next year and enrolled in BAND.
    • c. Students must have received a 1st Division rating on their solo at the 2021 High School Solo and Ensemble Festival, and must be CURRENTLY enrolled in an Instrumental Music class and for all of 2021-22 ENTIRE school year.
    • d. Previous Gonda scholarship winners are not eligible to audition for the Gonda Scholarship or win again.
  1. Piano solos are not eligible for the Gonda Scholarship
  1. You may perform with or without accompaniment, however, please keep in mind that your performance will be enhanced using an accompanist
  1. Scholarships can be used for summer music camps, marching band camps, or private lessons
  1. The recipients of the scholarships will be notified the next school day by their directors
  1. Parents, friends, family members, etc. are not allowed in the audition room
  1. A 2021 Gonda Scholarship Letter of Intention must be completed and submitted upon the student's arrival for the audition. Download the letter by clicking below (paper versions will also be available at the audition site):

2021 Louis Gonda Scholarship & Letter of Intention (coming soon)

Students auditioning for the Gonda Scholarship represent all UCS high schools and their feeder junior highs.

Craig Ankawi

Craig Ankawi Memorial Scholarship

  • Established in 2011 in memory of the spirit former Stevenson Instrumental Music student Craig Ankawi had for the program. A 2009 SHS graduate, he was tragically taken from this life in June, 2010.
  • Funded as partnership between the Ankawi family and the Stevenson Band Boosters
  • Open to Instrumental Music students in 10th & 11th grades with a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • The deadline for 2021 applications will be announced


2021 Craig Ankawi Scholarship Information


Rules & Eligibility:

  • This $500 scholarship is not based on financial needs, but for the dedicated student in the Instrumental Music Program
  • All applicants must have been involved in the Instrumental Music Program throughout the 2020-21 school year. The recipient must be returning to the program in 2021-22
  • This scholarship is for Stevenson students that are in 10th and 11th grades in 2020-21
  • Students must have at least a 3.00 GPA
  • The scholarship money must be used for music educational purposes such as private lessons/band camps
  • Applications and essays are judged, and the scholarship winner is chosen, by the Ankawi family



  1. Due: to be announced
  2. Write a two-page essay on the following topic:
    • to be announced
  3. Include a full resume and three letters of reference (not family members or Mr. Sekich) in your e-mail
  4. Send ALL requirements in ONE complete attachment to this e-mail address: to be announced
  5. You will receive an e-mail back from the Ankawi family, letting you know that your application has been received



Previous Ankawi Scholarship Winners:
2021   2019 Justin Littleton
2018 Julia Daniel 2017 Veronica Pardington
2016 Corbyn McKinley-Piwonski 2015 Mike Sekich
2014 Nicholas Holevar 2013 Brittany Bissa
2012 Jackie Kaiser 2011 Rebekah Veit

Dick Copus

Dick 'The Voice' Copus Scholarship

  • Established in 2020 to honor Mr. Dick Copus, the long-time voice of the Stevenson Marching Band and former Utica Community Schools Board member, the Copus Scholarship rewards students that are fully engaged in the Stevenson Instrumental Music Program
  • Funded as partnership between an anonymous donor and the Stevenson Band Boosters
  • This $500 scholarship is open to Instrumental Music students in 9th, 10th & 11th grades at Stevenson HS and Davis, Heritage. and Jeannette JHS
  • The deadline for 2020 applications is Friday, May 29th, 2020 at 11:59 PM
  • Online application link:


2020 Dick 'The Voice' Scholarship Information


Eligibility & Requirements:

  • Applicant must have participated in MSBOA District XVI High School Solo & Ensemble Festival (Chamber Ensemble participants welcome)
  • Applicant must have participated in any two of the following MSBOA Events during the current school year:
    • Marching Band Festival
    • Band & Orchestra Festival
    • Jazz Band Festival
    • Honors Band
    • All-State Band
    • State Solo & Ensemble
  • Applicant must be enrolled in an Instrumental Music class for the next upcoming school year (2020-21)
  • Applicant must not have previously won a Copus Scholarship or an Ankawi Scholarship
  • Students cannot win both an Ankawi Scholarship and Copus Scholarship in the same year
  • Funds will be eligible to be used towards band expenses such as music camps, private lessons, music/equipment/supplies, and band trips. If a student leaves the Instrumental Music Program for any reason, including graduation, unused scholarship monies revert to the Stevenson Band Boosters



  • Due: no later than Fri. May 29, 2020 @ 11:59 PM
  • Submit an online application via
  • Applicants will complete an online form, being certain to answer the short essay questions
  • Late applications will not be accepted, and duplicate submissions shall be deleted (only one submission allowed per student)



  • A committee appointed by the Band Director will review the applications to choose the winner
  • In addition to the online application, the committee will consider items such as citizenship and attendance along with other contributions made to the program
  • The winner will be announced online during the week of June 1, 2020



Previous Copus Scholarship Winners:
2021   2020  

John Philip Sousa Award

The Sousa Award is the pinnacle of achievement in a high school band. Introduced in 1955 to honor the top student in the high school band, the John Philip Sousa Band Award® recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication.


    The John Philip Sousa Award® has been presented to the following Stevenson High School students in recognition of outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, for singular merit and loyalty and cooperation, and for displaying those high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music requires:
2020   2019 Veronica Pardington
2018 Keyshawn Spinks 2017 Michael Sekich

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award

The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award® was inaugurated in 1974 with the consent of his widow shortly after this great jazz artist died in 1971. It honors the outstanding jazz musician at each high school.


    The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award® has been presented to the following Stevenson High School students in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of jazz as demonstrated through superior musicianship, character, and individual creativity:
2020   2019 Alyssa Carnes
2018 Parker Jacobs 2017 Christopher Marinello

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