Stetson School of Music announces scholarship program for K-12 students in Central Florida

Children singing in a choir
Children singing in a choir
The Jack and Martha Apgar Young Music Scholars program provides new musical enrichment opportunities for K-12 students.

The Stetson University School of Music is pleased to announce the Jack and Martha Apgar Young Music Scholars grant award to the Stetson Community Music School, beginning in the Fall 2022 semester. The award aims to build on the mission of the existing program and create additional pathways for K-12 students to participate in individual music lessons through full scholarship awards. 

Since 1985, Stetson’s Community Music School has provided the highest-quality music education to Central Floridians, especially K-12 students. The School of Music connects our program participants with faculty-recommended Stetson student teachers, degreed instructors, collegiate-level facilities, and a gateway to advanced musical study.

Students who are selected to participate in this program will receive scholarship opportunities to enroll in individual music lessons and ensemble programs within the Stetson Community Music School.

Sara Scarpelli

Sara Scarpelli, Director of Community Outreach for the Stetson School of Music, shared: “Connecting with our community and providing access to music education for K-12 students is at the heart of our program’s mission, and that mission will be significantly enhanced with this grant funding. Thanks to the Apgar Foundation’s support, we will be able to provide an unprecedented amount of scholarship awards, which will allow talented local students access to individual lessons and ensemble experiences in a supportive collegiate environment, and fully explore their own artistic and personal growth. We are truly grateful to the Apgar Foundation for trusting us with this endeavor.”

The Apgar Foundation was founded in 2001 by Martha B. Apgar in large part to honor her late husband John Newton “Jack” Apgar. Mr. Apgar founded STS Tire and Auto Centers in the Northeast. Mrs. Apgar’s family (the Browns) used to own the Hotel Putnam in DeLand; many of her family members attended Stetson University, and she attended St. Barnabas Episcopal Church for years.

portrait at a piano.
Washington García, DMA

“It is a privilege to partner with the Apgar Foundation on this exciting and impactful initiative to support music education in our area,” stated Dr. Washington Garcia, Dean of the Stetson School of Music. “Our Community Music School’s trajectory is exceptional and this grant from the Apgar Foundation comes at a time of great success for our school as we continue to enhance our presence as leaders in the community and the country. An amazing new era is about to start in the Stetson Community Music School.”

The foundation’s purpose is to support projects that address the principles of the Apgars, including “an unswerving commitment to God, Country, Family, and Community.” The foundation focuses on proposals that “celebrate … the American Founding Fathers’ beliefs in the centrality of God, individual freedoms, limited government, and the unlimited potential of free people.” 

The Jack and Martha Apgar Young Music Scholars program will not only provide new musical enrichment opportunities for K-12 students, but it will also support the good work of our colleagues in Volusia and Seminole County Schools who guide their students’ musical development. Through these strengthened relationships and support systems, we will provide the experiences and resources necessary for students to succeed as musicians, scholars, and citizens in our community. 

All lessons and ensemble rehearsals take place in Presser Hall on Stetson’s DeLand campus and include a final solo recital performance held in Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall. 

  • Ideal candidates will have a sincere interest in developing as musicians and are able to attend a minimum of 13 half-hour lessons (one lesson per week) during the fall 2022 semester. 
  • The program is open to all instrumentalists, pianists and vocalists. Selected participants will also receive support for required music books.
  • Short video auditions are required.
  • Full scholarships are available.
  • Applications are now open online:  

Visit the Jack and Martha Apgar Young Music Scholars Program webpage or contact Sara Scarpelli, Director of Community Outreach for the School of Music, at [email protected] or 386-82-8962.