The Music Department awards a number of scholarships annually to first-year students. All scholarships are available regardless of whether a student majors in music.

Based upon the submitted Music Scholarship Application materials, approximately 10-15 students are invited to the campus to audition during Celebration and Recognition/Decision Davidson Weekend in April.

The Donald B. Plott and J. Estes Millner Scholarships provide several scholarships of up to $15,000 each on the basis of the results of that audition. Plott and Millner Scholars also 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.

The awards are renewable for the recipients' remaining three years at Davidson, provided they:

  • Meet Davidson College's Standards of Progress
  • Participate fully each semester, including tours and graduation weekend performances, in the ensemble indicated on the award's "Award Notification Letter," and earn a positive recommendation from the ensemble director
  • Serve as usher for a minimum of two of the department's major concerts each semester
  • Participate in the Celebration and Recognition Weekend

Application Requirements

Students wishing to apply must submit the following by the deadline date of their chosen application plan: Early Decision I - November 15; Early Decision II - January 2; or Regular Decision - January 5.

  • Music Scholarship Application Form - submissions without this application will not be considered
  • Letter discussing your interest in the award
  • Letter of recommendation from your current music teacher
  • Unedited audio or video recording

Recordings for the Special Application Scholarship Form

  • Recordings should be approximately 10 minutes in length and should not contain exercises or scales.
  • For optimal evaluation, care should be given to the recording environment and quality.
  • Recordings of recitals or concerts are acceptable, but quality should be taken into consideration.
  • Please do not send sound files as email attachments; rather, upload your audio/visual files.
  • See the Music Selection Guidelines below to guide preparation of your audio submission.

Music Selection Guidelines: Audio Submission


Three contrasting songs or arias: One Italian art song or aria from the 17th or 18th centuries, one song in English from any period (excluding musical theater), and one work of the singer's choice.

All selections must be performed in their entirety, although long instrumental accompaniments may be shortened. Unless written for unaccompanied voice, the selections should be accompanied. The selections should demonstrate the singer's musical sensitivity and technical proficiency.


Three selections to include the following: one movement or work from the 17th/18th century (Baroque era), one movement of a sonata (or group of variations) from the 18th/early 19th century (Classical era), and one piece from the 19th century or early 20th century (up to c.1950).

Other Instruments

Two selections from the standard repertoire of one's instrument: One should be of moderate or fast tempo, demonstrating technical proficiency and one should be slower, demonstrating musical sensitivity.

Unless written as a concert piece for unaccompanied instrument, such as a Bach suite or a percussion solo, the selections should be accompanied.

Music Selection Guidelines: On-Campus Audition

On-campus auditions are strictly limited to ten minutes. The music may be the same pieces submitted on the audition recording with adjustments as necessary to achieve the time limits. If different, choose a piece or movement that will showcase your talent and abilities.

Pianists and vocalists are strongly encouraged to perform from memory. 

You must bring an original copy of the music or a copy legally downloaded in the public domain to the audition performance.

For more information on Music Scholarships, email Christine Tabor at or call 704-894-2357.