Spencer J. Steiff Music Camp Scholarship


Spencer grade 6 photo    DSC_7013-2 edit

The Spencer J. Steiff Music Camp Scholarship provides financial assistance for band students at Scarlett Middle School to attend Wolverine Band Camp. This unique week-long experience challenges, inspires, and encourages students through music in a positive and nurturing summer-camp environment. In addition to playing their instruments and improving their musicianship,students participate in traditional camping activities such as climbing walls, zip-lines, and river tubing. Summer camp is a life-changing, character-building experience. The Spencer J. Steiff Music Camp Scholarship will help many Scarlett families to afford this opportunity.

A Note from Spencer’s Mother
Our son Spencer loved everything about the French horn:

Its quirky backwards-facing bell…
Its twenty feet of elaborately coiled tubing…
The fact that he was the only student in his fifth-grade class to play it…
And above all its gorgeous, resonant low notes.

He loved startling the dog (and the rest of us) by practicing “elephant calls,” and he loved grossing me out by letting the spit drain from his instrument. When Spencer returned home from the orthodontist with a mouth full of shiny new braces, he ran—not to the mirror to see how he looked—but to his horn, to see if he could still play. He could.

And he played well. Throughout his fifth-grade instrumental music class at Mitchell Elementary School and his sixth-grade band class at Scarlett Middle School, Spencer challenged himself and progressed rapidly. He volunteered to play a solo at his private teacher’s annual recital only two weeks after he had started taking lessons.

That year, he played “Hot Cross Buns.”

The next year, he and the other students played the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

Spencer also surprised us by auditioning for and winning a music camp scholarship for the summer after sixth grade. Sadly, he never got to use that scholarship.

We would like to help other Scarlett musicians go to band camp, so it gives us great joy to see the Spencer J. Steiff Music Camp Scholarship take shape. We thank the AAPS Educational Foundation and the many generous people who join us in remembering Spencer and supporting the goal of a rich musical education for all Ann Arbor students.

With profound gratitude,

Julie Steiff


      • A Scarlett Middle School band student who has shown enthusiasm and commitment throughout the school year.
      • The student must commit to participating in band the following school year.
      • The student must be in need of financial assistance in order to attend Wolverine Band Camp.

Application Process:

      • The Scarlett band director and the Scarlett principal select worthy candidates by the deadline.
      • The Scarlett band director and the Scarlett principal then inform Ann Arbor Educational Foundation of the selection(s).
      • There is no application form to fill out.

Award Amount:

      • Amount and # of scholarships vary from year to year, but typically there are at least 3 scholarships awarded at $450 (or current Wolverine Band Camp tuition).
      • The scholarship is acknowledged annually at the Scarlett Middle School spring band concert.  (Since the award is partly need based, the individual recipients need not be identified).

Deadline: April 15, no later than 5pm

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