Successful Giving Day Supports Student Musicians

Tue, 06/19/2018

Cornell University held its third annual Giving Day on March 20, with the Department of Music once again participating. For the second year, we directed all undesignated gifts to the Friends of Music Fund to support scholarships for music lessons. The Friends of Music is an initiative begun in 1977 under the leadership of Otto Doering ‘62 that serves as a fund dedicated to supporting student performance. Over the years, Friends of Music has assisted with ensemble tours, paid for instrument repairs and purchases, and supported scholarships for music lessons (which carry an additional cost over tuition).

The department’s student-led communications team, headed by Milo Reynolds-Dominguez (music major, class of ‘20) and Events Manager Laurel Gilmer, enlisted the help of students and faculty from across the department to help spread the word about our campaign on social media, with most attention dedicated to our MusicatCornell Facebook page. With the strong support of students in the ensembles, students currently taking lessons, and our faculty leading ensembles and teaching in the studio, we were excited to see the message spread, helped by the video Milo created to highlight the department.

Giving Day itself was a tremendous success. Thirty-six individuals gave to the department, donating a total of $11,388 (including corporate matching grants) toward music lessons scholarships in the department – an incredible increase from last year. We were especially touched by the number of people giving to the music department for the first time. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed.

There was a tangible sense of gratitude in the department afterwards. In April, we invited students to write notes of appreciation to the individual donors, and students currently taking lessons or in ensembles took up the welcome task with gusto. 

There are many ways to give to the Department of Music, on Giving Day or any other day of the year. Please consider becoming a donor, whether it be to the Friends of Music, to your favorite ensemble or program, or to the unrestricted Music Gifts fund, which supports lecturer salaries and other essential department needs. For more information about giving options, please contact Christopher Riley, Administrative Manager, at

Giving Day