For DonorsFor Applicants

Michael C. Overholser Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$2,295
Application Deadline
Apr 16, 2024
Winners Announced
May 16, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Involved in music or plan to pursue music in college

Michael Overholser's love of music started at an early age, beginning with learning piano and then playing baritone in his elementary school band. 

Michael then discovered his love for brass instruments, learning to play everything from the trumpet to the tuba before finding his calling with the slide trombone. In high school, Michael was a member of the marching, stage, and jazz bands and then expanded into R&B and rock as well. Michael played with bands after high school, living all over the country and taking his love of music everywhere.

This scholarship aims to honor the memory of Michael Overholser by supporting students who are passionate about music. 

Any high school senior in Maryland who is involved in music or plans to pursue music in college may apply, but low-income and/or minority students are preferred. 

To apply, tell us how music inspires you and how you want to use music to inspire others.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published January 15, 2024
Essay Topic

Please share how music inspires you and how you want to use music to inspire others. 

400–600 words

Winning Application

Noah Zeitlin
Kent Island High SchoolChester, MD
Six years ago, I stepped onto a stage for the first time, and music changed my life forever. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was standing on stage at Kent Island High School, shaking with anxiety. As I took my place on stage, I heard the chatter of the audience just on the other side of the curtain that would soon fly open, kicking off my love for the theatre. Ever since that first experience with theatre, it has remained one of the largest parts of my life. The story of my growth in musical theatre is the story of my life. I went from a shy sixth grader who could hardly keep rhythm to a loud high school senior whose entire life revolves around music. I have found the power of music to be profoundly inspiring. It is a whole separate medium of storytelling that requires immense levels of skill. The amazing thing about music is how complex it can be…and how simple it can be. I have seen pieces performed by a single person on a stage with no accompaniment. I have also seen pieces performed by a cast of over 50 people, accompanied by almost 30 instruments in an orchestra. What has shocked me throughout my life, however, is that the most moving pieces of music are the most simple ones. Growing up, I often felt at odds with my community. My identity didn’t exactly align with what many people around me considered “ideal”. I found solace in music. Music about people experiencing similar things to what I was going through. Musicals like Falsettos or Fun Home gave me songs that I could relate to. They also taught me acceptance, acceptance of myself. Today music is used to communicate controversial and important ideas. Music is an engaging form of communication, one that people can laugh to, cheer to, or even cry to. It is my dream to use music to help others the way it has helped me. I have spent my life learning about music and gaining so much from it. It is due time that I give back to music what it has given me. I want to spend my life performing on stage and creating intimate moments with an audience. I dream that every time I perform in a musical each audience member takes home a part of the musical with them and uses it to better their own life, or others’ lives.
Pikesville High SchoolGarrison, MD
At an early age I can recall my mother telling me I had an ear for music. I could never quite understand what she meant, I just knew that I loved music of all genres and I heard music differently than others. Music excited me and made my feel something! at about 7 years old I can recall going into a music store with my mom to purchase a recorder for school and I was instantly drawn to the guitar. So much so that the sales person took one down off of the display and allowed me to hold it. Just strumming strings was soothing. That day when we left the store, I asked my mother if she would purchase me one for Christmas. I began watching the tutorial and teaching myself how to play. Once I mastered the guitar I then starting playing around with my cousin's keyboard. Just from hearing the notes and the melodies in songs, I began to teach myself how to play by playing what a heard initially. To my surprise, it sounded great! Even my mother couldn't believe I had played a song from ear alone. it was then that I knew I had found voice. Playing music gave me a voice so to speak , often when I felt voiceless. From then on, I joined the chorus at school. A few years ago, I met my paternal grandfather for the first time and I finally began to understand where my love for music came from. He said it was in my DNA, as he too was a musician. My grandfather is a professional drummer, but he also plays both the bass guitar and the keyboard. i began studying and learning to play drums as well. For me, music is an outlet! Playing music or composing songs and arrangements allows me to express myself at times when I'm not quite sure how. Even the music I listen too, helps me. From Frank Sinatra, to Sea Shanties or pop music, country and even Latin music. It is soothing. I listen to music doing almost EVERYTHING! Its a part of me!!I I recently began teaching my younger cousin to play the keyboard, as a way to introduce him to music. Music is powerful and healing and I hope to help others find their voice through instruments or song, whichever makes them happy. I also plan to teach him along with others that they can express themselves through music, that it uses every emotion and feeling. Music helps you heal and is beautiful. My goal is to continue to use it to express me feelings thoughts and emotions, as well as sharing with others its beauty and hopefully teaching them what I've learned so that they too can use it to express themselves.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 16, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 16, 2024.

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