For students with exceptional talent and passion for music, the Music Department awards a number of scholarships annually.

The Donald B. Plott and J. Estes Millner Scholarships, valued at $15,000 annually, are offered to up to three students in each entering class. The awards are renewable for recipients' remaining three years at Davidson provided the following requirements are met:  maintain a strong academic performance, make expected progress toward their degree, serve as usher for at least two major concerts each semester, be an active member in one of the Music Department ensembles each semester (including tours and graduation weekend performances), and earn a positive recommendation from the ensemble director.

Recipients are not required to major in Music.

Application Process

In addition to the application for admission and , you must submit an unedited video recording. The quality of the recording should be taken into consideration before submission.

All finalists will be offered free music lessons in their instrument for their four years at Davidson.



Please submit scholarship application materials no later than your selected application plan deadline.

Music Selection Guidelines for Audio Submission


  • Upload your audition video file(s).
  • Recordings should be approximately 10 minutes in total length
  • Do not submit exercises or scales
  • Care should be given to the recording environment and quality
  • Recordings of recitals or concerts are acceptable

Piano (Classical)

Three contrasting selections that demonstrate the student's musical sensitivity and technical ability. These selections can include, but are not limited to, any of the periods of music as typically defined (Baroque, Classical, Romantic) and any of a whole range of more recent music (impressionist, jazz, minimalist, postwar Avant Garde, etc.).

Examples of acceptable submissions might be:

  • Movement(s) of a Baroque Suite, a Classical sonata movement or a set of variations, and an Impressionist piece 
  • Baroque invention or fugue, a Romantic etude, and a work of contemporary composer


Three contrasting songs or arias to include the following:

  • One art song in a language other than English
  • One art song in English from any period (excluding musical theatre)
  • One work of your choice, which may include musical theater

All selections must be performed from memory in their entirety, although long instrumental passages may be shortened. Unless written for unaccompanied voice, the selections should be accompanied by either a live accompanist or pre-recorded tracks, but please do not use tracks that contain recordings of any singers other than yourself.

These selections should demonstrate the singer's musical sensitivity and technical proficiency.

Other Instruments (Classical)

Two selections from the standard repertoire of your instrument:

  • One moderate or fast tempo, demonstrating technical proficiency
  • One slower, demonstrating musical sensitivity

Unless written for an unaccompanied instrument (such as Bach suite or percussion solo), the selections should be accompanied by either a live accompanist or pre-recorded, accompaniment-only tracks.

Jazz Instruments

Students wanting to apply as jazz musicians will need to prepare two jazz standards. They can be recorded with a group or recorded with backing tracks. With each, play through the melody/head, then perform one or two improvised choruses.


For questions related to music scholarships, please contact our scholarships team.

Scholarships for Continuing Students

Pending availability of funds, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors may compete in the Current Student Music Scholarship Competition, which competition is held in Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall in late March.

Applications and complete guidelines are available in the Music Office early in the spring semester. Winners have the option of enrolling in applied music lessons, either half-hour (non-credit) or one-hour lessons (credit or non-credit), the cost of which will be covered by the Music Department. Some winners may also receive a stipend that can be applied toward tuition.

Guidelines for the Competition

You may play one or two pieces or movements of your choice. Choose music that will showcase your talent and abilities. The total performance time should not exceed eight minutes.

Submit the application, one copy of the music (with measures numbered) for judges, and a copy of the score for accompaniment in the Music Office, Sloan 104.