Scholarships and Financial Aid

“The Uptown Music Collective prides itself on never turning away a deserving student because of their inability to pay.”

A Tradition of Supportwebscholarship

In the early days of the school, founder Dave Brumbaugh would teach students who couldn’t afford to pay for free. They just needed to show the desire to learn the guitar, and the discipline to work hard at it. In return he expected them to excel at their studies, to clean and take care of the school, help with organizational tasks, and when ready, to teach their peers.


That idea of making high quality music education available to everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or financial status, is at the core of what we do sixteen years later. As we’ve grown, so has the need to formalize our system of Financial Aid. It is still based on student merit and financial need. There is also a requirement that scholarship students demonstrate a passion for learning, through good attendance, appropriate study habits and grades. They are also expected to “give back” in return for the hand up, by taking part in volunteer programs, communicating regularly with the scholarship committee, and serving as a good example for their peers.

UMC General Scholarship Application PDF

Annual Scholarships

The UMC Scholarship system includes two annual full scholarships. The Alice Hileman Memorial Scholarship, and the Lew Gilberti Memorial Scholarship. Both scholarships require students to be “fully” enrolled in the UMC Program, meaning they must also take advantage of the free classes and workshops. They also must volunteer within the school to pay their gift forward, and they must communicate with their benefactors regularly with updates on their progress. Applications for both scholarships are due June 1st for the school year running September to August. Scholarship application are reviewed by a scholarship committee and the scholarships are awarded in early August.

Financial Aid and the UMC Scholarship Fund

Each year the Uptown Music Collective raises money through it’s early Winter Fundraising Concert to support a Scholarship Fund for the coming year. This fund supports the tuition of students who through the application process have shown a need for support, and a drive and passion for music.

Students may apply for Tuition Support at any time of the year. The amount of support given will depend on the student’s need, the number of approved applications, and the amount of funds available.

Support, if approved, may be for a single semester, or for the entire year, depending on the scholarship committee’s recommendation.