Music Scholarships

High school seniors who demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics and performance or composition may be eligible for the prestigious Brooks Music Scholarship or the Organ Scholarship, both covering full tuition at Holy Cross.


Brooks Scholarship

Julia Hamilton

                                              Julia Hamilton, Class of 2012 Brooks Scholar.

The Brooks Scholarship is a four-year, full tuition scholarship offered to a high school senior who will major in music or double major in music and another discipline.

Candidates must demonstrate outstanding accomplishment in the area of instrumental/vocal performance or composition as well as significant academic achievement. Holy Cross offers a rich and varied music curriculum, distinguished faculty members with international reputations, and opportunities for private study and participation in large and small music ensembles.

General Guidelines

In addition to the regular Application for Admission to the College, students applying for the Brooks Music Scholarship must also provide the following materials to the Department of Music: 

1. A music resume detailing the student’s background, experience, and teachers. Also include student contact information.

2. An essay (approximately one page) describing the student’s goals and reasons for wanting to major in music at the College of the Holy Cross.  Be sure to include the student's name on the essay.

3. Two letters of recommendation, sent under separate cover. One letter should be from the student's current private vocal/instrumental or composition teacher; the other letter should be from a music teacher or other professional musician with whom the student has worked.

4. Performers: video recordings of two selections in contrasting styles. Include piano accompaniment if applicable. Orchestral or ensemble excerpts are acceptable if the applicant is a soloist. Recordings should not exceed 15 minutes in length. Links to file sharing sites (SoundCloud, DropBox, YouTube, etc.) are preferred.

4. Composers: two or more compositions with corresponding scores. Include audio recordings if available. Computer realized recordings are acceptable. Links to file sharing sites (SoundCloud, DropBox, YouTube, etc.) are preferred.

Submission Guidelines

Students may submit applications to the Brooks Scholarship, by uploading the required materials to this application portal

Please contact Alice Resker if you have any questions about the application process:

Application Deadline: Jan. 15

Organ Scholarship

Prof. Ezequiel Menendez and organ scholar, Michelle Sacco '21.

As a Jesuit and Catholic liberal arts college with a rich musical heritage and a world-renowned Taylor and Boody organ, the College of the Holy Cross offers a unique opportunity for young organists who wish to study both their instrument and its role in the liturgy. Organ professor, Dr. Ezequiel Menendez, is a widely respected concert organist and church musician, and his pedagogical approach reflects both traditions.

The Organ Scholarship is a four-year, full tuition scholarship offered by the College of the Holy Cross through the Department of Music, in collaboration with the Office of the College Chaplains, to a high school senior who will major in music or double major in music and another discipline. The recipient of this scholarship will have at his/her disposal the 1985 four-manual, 50-stop mechanical action organ built by Taylor & Boody Organ builders, located in the beautiful St. Joseph Memorial Chapel. 

Applicants for the scholarship should already have some experience in church music, a strong background in keyboard studies, and very good sight-reading skills. This prestigious scholarship will only be awarded to a dedicated organist who has studied organ for several years and has excellent basic music skills.

The awardee will serve as a principal organist at College liturgies and other Chapel events and will hold the title of Holy Cross Organ Scholar for his/her particular class. The awardee must have a demonstrated commitment to Church Music and/or Organ Performance.

In addition to the study of traditional organ repertory, Organ Scholars are provided with an extraordinary variety of opportunities to perform and learn: at liturgies and recitals, with the College Chaplains in planning and celebrating liturgy, in masterclasses with internationally renowned performers, and in seminars on organ building, organ literature, and improvisation. The city of Worcester possesses a fantastic collection of organs on which students are also able to play and perform. 

Students interested in applying for the Organ Scholarship should see the application instructions at the bottom of this page.  The first set of application materials is due on October 15, 2023. After preliminary application materials have been reviewed, the Department of Music will invite semi-finalists to submit additional materials and finalists to come to campus for a live audition and interview at Holy Cross. Applicants to the organ scholarship must apply to the College, regular decision, by November 15, 2023.

For further information please contact Dr. Ezequiel Menendez at

Recent Organ Program Recitals

In addition to the regular Application for Admission to the College, students interested in applying for the organ scholarship should submit the following materials by October 15, 2023.

  • a video recording (preferably uploaded to an online service such as YouTube) demonstrating the applicant’s playing ability in diverse styles of organ literature
    • three solos (one of which should be a major work by Bach) and two other selections of contrasting style; plus one hymn of the applicant’s choosing
  • a high school transcript
  • a listing of the candidate’s senior year courses
  • a school profile

By email to (include Organ Scholarship in the subject line)

By post:

Organ Scholarship
Department of Music 
College of the Holy Cross
One College Street
Worcester, MA 01610

Students who are semi-finalists will be notified shortly after October 15 and will be invited to submit additional materials by November 15, 2023:

  • a C.V. of academic and musical accomplishments, including a list of repertory and instruments played
  • a paragraph-long statement detailing prior experience playing in a liturgical context
  • a statement of purpose no more than 1000 words in length, addressing the applicant’s personal, academic, and professional goals and the degree of “fit” between these goals and the Holy Cross organ program 
  • 3 letters of recommendation
    • the first of which must be from the applicant’s present or most recent organ teacher
    • the second of which must be an academic reference (from a present or recent high school teacher or guidance counselor)
    • the third of which may be a reference of the applicant’s choosing that addresses the applicant’s experience in a liturgical setting, character, leadership capacity, community engagement, and/or service engagement. Letters from the candidate’s pastor or minister are particularly encouraged
  • a regular-decision application to the College Admissions Office no later than November 15
  • international students from countries in which English is not spoken must submit their TOEFL scores no later than November 15.