The Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association offers three financial assistance awards, each of up to $800.00  to qualified students, ages 9-17, of NVMTA teachers.  See each award for details.

1. The Healy/Ford Student Excellence Award is given in memory of Helen Healy and Helen Parker Ford.  Helen Healy was a dedicated and dependable president of the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association who was much loved for her cheerfulness and positive spirit.  Helen Parker Ford was a dynamic member of NVMTA who championed sight reading skills through the one hundredth year of her life.

2. The Judy Leonard Financial Assistance Award, open to all instrumentalists and vocalists, memorializes an NVMTA teacher known for the nurturing attention she bestowed upon each student.  Judy Leonard was a professional musician whose passion for music and exceptional musicianship made her a recognized and revered part of metropolitan musical life for thirty-eight years.  Recipients of this award are required to write a letter to the family of Judy Leonard at the end of the academic year, reporting on their repertoire and progress in their music studies.

3.  The Ruthanne Lodato Financial Assistance Award, open to all instrumentalists and vocalists, is given annually to young boys and girls who demonstrate a love of music and display an excellence in performing. Ruthanne was a music teacher for over 40 years, and an accomplished pianist and organist who found happiness in helping children discover the joy of music and in watching her students reach their potential.  This scholarship also helps those financially less fortunate to continue both their appreciation of music and their desire to grow their abilities.

Note to NVMTA Teachers:  If you have a student who may be eligible for financial aid, or if you simply wish to spread the word about these events, please see this sample letter.  You could use this letter verbatim or create your own.


The Healy/Ford Student Excellence Award is given to winners of an annual competitive recital.  Judges evaluate participants on their technical and memorization skills and upon the performers’ sensitivity to the composer’s musical intentions.  It requires performance from memory of three compositions that represent different historical periods.

The Judy Leonard and Ruthanne Lodato Financial Assistance Awards are not competitive, but require performance from memory of two historically different musical works.

Application Postmark Deadline: Friday, February 4, 2023

c/o Debra Gunnerson 4509 Hazelnut Ct. Chantilly, VA  20151

Notification of Eligibility:  Sunday, February 11, 2023

Auditions:  Sunday, February 19, 2023

Audition Address:  Debra Gunnerson, 4509 Hazelnut Ct. Chantilly, VA  20151

How to apply:

For 2023, in addition to the forms below, applicants will submit one single, unedited, complete performance video per student on this

Video Submission Form.  If you need help with creating an unlisted youtube video,  this link will help.

Applicants will submit the four forms below to  c/o Debra Gunnerson 4509 Hazelnut Ct. Chantilly, VA 20151


Descriptions and application forms of the Healy/Ford Student Excellence Award, and the Judy Leonard and Ruthanne Lodato.

Student Information form

Teacher Certifcation Form

Sample Teacher Letter

Parents’ information Form

*All documents are strictly confidential and are used for the sole purpose of establishing financial need. Extraordinary expenses or catastrophic events may qualify a family with income that exceeds the designated limit.  Please mail your application and supporting documents to:

NVMTA Scholarship Endowment Fund
c/o Debra Gunnerson, Co-Chair
4509 Hazelnut Ct.
Chantilly, VA  20151