Desautels Scholarship recipients with Marcel Desautels.

Desautels Scholarship recipients with Marcel Desautels.

  • The University of Manitoba issues more than $17 million to students annually in scholarships and bursaries. The awards described here are those offered specifically for Desautels Faculty of Music students.

    You may also be eligible for other UM awards, so be sure to check Financial Aid and Awards for more information.

  • "Gifted musicians thrive in an environment where their talents and hard work are supported with generous financial assistance, expert instruction, and abundant opportunities."  
    ~ Edmund Dawe, former Dean


Bursary awards are primarily based upon financial need. Eligibility criteria and application requirements vary by award.


In addition to the many scholarships listed here, numerous renewable, annual and one-time awards are available through the Desautels Endowment. Since 2009, we have awarded more than $1.9 million in undergraduate and graduate scholarships from this fund.

Scholarships are awarded to students based on results of entrance auditions, at the discretion of the Associate Deans of the Desautels Faculty of Music.

If you have questions about our scholarships, please contact Admissions Coordinator and Recruitment Lead Louella Yambot.

Choral conducting

Ensemble program

Prep Studies (a division of the Desautels Faculty of Music)



Desautels Faculty of Music students have opportunities throughout the year to participate in competitions. Awards range from cash prizes to soloist opportunities.

Internal competitions

Internal competitions are those held for current Desautels Faculty of Music students. More information about 2021-2022 competitions will be shared soon. 

Endowment Fund

The endowment fund consists of funds donated by private donors and students.  All Desautels Faculty of Music students contribute to the fund through tuition fees, as decided through a referendum process. A portion of the endowment fund goes toward continuing scholarships for students.

The goal of the fund is to promote excellence in the Desautels Faculty of Music through support of students for a wide variety of innovative projects and programs consistent with the academic goals of the Faculty, including but not limited to: scholarship and research, professional development, travel.

Individual and group applications for projects and travel grants are made to the Endowment Fund committee.

Zita Bernstein Competition

Each year the Desautels Faculty of Music awards a cash prize for the best performance in German Lieder.


1. Must be a registered full time Bachelor of Music student in anya year of major practical study (voice) and/or recital (voice) with a minimum course load of 18 credit hours (60 per cent full course load).

2. Must participate in the competition for the performance of German lieder in which they perform three lieder by at least two different composers.

The application deadline is Saturday January 29, 2022 at 12:00PM. 

Concerto Competition

The winner(s) will have the opportunity to perform a concerto or comparable larger work with the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra or the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble during the following academic year (2023-2024)

Music for the winner’s performances with either the University Wind Ensemble or University Symphony Orchestra will be chosen in conjunction with the winner’s Major Practical Study instructor and the conductor of the respective ensemble.

Application deadline (Including program submission): Wednesday, January 11, 2023 – 4:30 p.m.

Genser Competition

The Genser Competition is held annually in the Winter Term. Cash prizes are awarded for first and second place winners in solo performance (any discipline).

Any Bachelor of Music student (not including post-baccalaureate students) enrolled in major practical study in the current academic year is eligible to apply. 

The application deadline is Monday, February 13, 2023 at 4:30PM. 

Ensemble Competition


This competition, new for 2020, is a collaboration between the Desautels Faculty of Music and St. John's College and honours ensemble playing. Winners of both the preliminary and final rounds will receive cash prizes. Instrumental ensembles, singer/instrumental ensembles, and vocal ensembles are all invited to submit applications.


1. Must be a full-time Desautels Faculty of Music student (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or master’s).

2. The application form must be signed by ensemble coach if appropriate, or the major practical study instructor of the contact person.

The application deadline is normally in February, with competition date in February and March.

External competitions

External competitions are for students attending Canadian or other universities, as noted.

Competitions from Winnipeg and Manitoba organizations


Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals

This provincial body represents local community arts festival organizations in Manitoba and neighboring Ontario communities that produce local, regional, provincial and national festival events. 

Flipside Opera’s Opera Idol

In this competition, performers sing two arias or one aria and one musical theatre piece. The audience-chosen winner receives a cash prize and an opportunity for a role in an upcoming season with Flipside Opera. 

Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association Performance Scholarship Competition

For more than 60 years, this competition has provided performance opportunities for developing musicians, constructive adjudication from esteemed music professionals and financial awards.

Virtuosi Concerts Young Artist Auditions and Competition

Each year, classical music students audition to be part of this program. Winners perform at the opening of a Virtuosi Concerts program and also receive an honorarium and concert tickets. 

Winnipeg Music Festival

This long-running annual festival features vocal and instrumental competitions for a variety of age groups. Awards include trophies, bursaries, scholarships and performance opportunities.

The WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance

This competition, offered by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg, awards the winner $10,000 and the chance to play with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Women’s Musical Club scholarships

The Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg offers scholarships to aspiring instrumentalists and vocalists to further their musical training.


National and international competitions

This list is a selection of competitions and is not meant to be all-encompassing.

If you know of a competition that we could add to this list, please email the details to


Undergraduate Research Awards Program

​​​Students are mentored full-time by the supervising professor, providing students with valuable research experience.  Typically, students work either on their own project or assisting the supervising professor on one of the faculty member’s projects in progress.

Prospective Supervisors

Jacquie Dawson - Assistant Professor, Director of Bands

Current Research Projects/Interests: Dr. Dawson's most recent research investigates 21st century chamber wind music repertoire and the promotion of new works to the genre. She is a strong advocate of contemporary wind band music and has engaged in numerous commission projects in recent years, including the recent commission of Dreams Unseen for Soprano Solo and Chamber Winds by Peter Meechan. Other research interests include equity, diversity, and inclusion in wind band composition and in school-based instrumental music education programs.  

James V. Maiello - Associate Dean (Graduate Programs & Research), Associate Professor, Musicology  

Current Research Projects/Interests: Currently preparing a critical edition of the sequence repertory of medieval Pistoia for publication. Other works in progress include a history of the College Band Directors National Association and a monograph on music, liturgy, and identity in medieval Pistoia. General research interests include medieval music, music history pedagogy, the wind band, and music criticism. 

Colette Simonot-Maiello - Associate Professor, Musicology 

Current Research Projects/Interests: Throughout the 20th century, settler classical composers used Indigenous stories and musical ideas as source materials with which to craft a "Canadian sound". This research examines a selection of works identified in J. Strachan's bibliography. "Music Inspired by Aboriginal Sources at the Canadian Music Centre," aiming to highlight misrepresentations and other problematic constructions of indigeneity emerging from the settler imagination. 

Jody Stark - Assistant Professor, Music Education 

Current Research Projects/Interests: Decolonizing and Indigenizing music education, music teacher professional learning, musical learning in various musical practices, models and practice for teaching creative practices in music. 

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