Helen Schneyer Memorial Scholarship Program
Opportunity for Folk Music Lessons!
In an effort to encourage the next generation of folk musicians, the Madison Folk Music Society has established The Helen Schneyer Memorial Scholarship to fund folk music lessons of the applicant’s choice. Two scholarships of $300 in lessons per year will be awarded annually, to be paid directly to the folk music instructor of choice. Budding folk musicians of all ages are encouraged to apply!
The scholarship is named in honor of the late great folk singer Helen Schneyer, who has played memorable house concerts in Madison at the home of her sister, Madfolk member Mona Wasow. Upon Helen’s death on July 16, 2005 in Vermont, Mona’s colleagues from the UW Madison School of Social Work took up a collection in her honor, which Mona contributed to the Madison Folk Music Society. The funds were initially used to bring Ed Trickett to Madison for a Spring, 2006 Memorial concert, at which contributions were added for an additional memorial.
Helen Schneyer was known for her renditions of lugubrious ballads, work songs, African American spirituals and Baptist hymns, which she sang, among other places, on Prairie Home Companion, at the White House at the request of Eleanor Roosevelt, and in Mona Wasow’s living room. She shared the stage with many of America’s best-known folk singers and songwriters, including Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who urged her at an early age to sing.
A simple application form can be downloaded on this site (see links above, right). Applications will also be available at Spruce Tree Music and Madison Music. Applicants should identify the folk music teacher with whom they wish to study when applying; scholarships will be paid in advance, directly to the instructor.
Deadline for applications is March 1 each year. Winners will be notified by March 15 and officially announced/presented at a Mad Folk concert.
Help keep it going!
- By mail: Tax deductible contributions to continue this memorial scholarship may be made payable to Madison Folk Music Society, with “Helen Schneyer Scholarship Fund” noted in the memo portion, and sent to Madfolk, P.O. Box 665, Madison, WI 53701. This can be done at any time including when dues are submitted.
- At concerts: In addition, there will be a donation box at Madfolk events to allow for donations to the fund as inspired by the moment.
- Online: Click here to make your donation with your credit card.
Through donations, Madfolk hopes to ensure that there is a new generation who will attempt to replace those who have gone on to sing in the “Angel Band.”