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
  • 2020 Auditions: Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Stevenson High School, 3:30 PM


Utica Community Schools - Louis Gonda Scholarship Information 2020

  1. Auditions will take place at Stevenson High School on Wednesday, February 12th, from 3:30pm-5:30pm. First come, first served
  1. There will be a $4.00 audition fee payable at the audition
  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 2020 High School Solo and Ensemble Festival, and must be CURRENTLY enrolled in an Instrumental Music class and for all of 2020-2021 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 2020 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 Stevenson HS):

2020 Louis Gonda Scholarship & Letter of Intention

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 2020 applications will be announced in the new year


2020 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 2019-20 school year. The recipient must be returning to the program in 2020-21
  • This scholarship is for Stevenson students that are in 10th and 11th grades in 2019-20
  • 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:
2020   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

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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