Virgil Thomson Fellowship

VIrgil ThomsonThe Virgil Thomson Fellowship is awarded competitively to scholars at any phase of their careers whose research interest is focused on the history, creation, and analysis of American music on stage and screen, including opera. The Fellowship may support research expenses, including but not limited to travel expenses, books, and media resources. The maximum award is $4,000.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a member in good standing of the Society. Click here to join or renew!

A one-page budget and final report are to be submitted by the recipient to the Executive Director of the Society no more than one year after the award is presented.

How to Apply

The Society for American Music seeks to award fellowships to support a broad spectrum of research conducted by society members. Projects that have already received SAM fellowship support are not eligible to receive the Thomson Fellowship.

Please submit the following by November 1, 2017 via email to Elizabeth Wells (please use "Thomson Fellowship Application" in the subject line).

  1. A general description of the project, not to exceed 500 words.  This should describe the relationship of the research to your scholarship, the intellectual rationale, significance to the field of American music, and expected outcome.
  2. A plan of work, not to exceed 500 words. This should describe the various components of the research to be undertaken with fellowship funds and a timetable.
  3. A detailed budget for all expenses requested.
  4. One letter of reference from a scholar who is familiar with the quality of your work.
  5. Your contact information, including email, address, and telephone.

Fellowship Committee

Elizabeth Wells (2017-19), chair; James Lovensheimer (2017-21), Mary Simonson (2015-2019)

Previous Fellows

Award Year Fellow(s)

James Leve, “Sights, Sounds, and Silences: Disability in Musical Theater”

Danielle Ward-Griffin, “Exporting Menotti: Maria Golovin at the Brussels World’s Fair”

Elizabeth Titrington Craft, Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan
and the Making of American Identity

Marianne Betz, Musikgeschichte der USA

Sally Bick, The Musical Politics of Hollywood Modernism

James Steichen, Balanchine and the Making of American Modernism, 1933-41

2014 Alice Miller Cotter, John Adams's Political Operas