UPDATE April 1, 2020: Due to the global health crisis, the inaugural Zajac Memorial Scholarship will not be awarded until 2021. Please watch this page and social media for application updates.

The Thomas Zajac Memorial Scholarship will provide a biennial scholarship, beginning 2021, to early music performers and scholars who wish to pursue specialized study in ethnic and/or folk traditions, instruments, or styles, for the purpose of exploring cultural cross-fertilizations in the history of early music and bringing that knowledge to bear in historically-grounded scholarship and performance. 
The recipient will be selected by a jury of musicians who knew or worked with the great multi-instrumentalist and educator, Tom Zajac (1956-2015). A biography, as compiled by his family, friends, and colleagues for his obituary, is published below. The Zajac Scholarship was funded by donations from Tom’s many friends and colleagues. A list of donors can be viewed below.

To make donation to the Zajac Memorial Scholarship Fund, please use this contribution form and designate the Zajac fund in the appropriate field.


  • Applications are open to a performer/scholar who wishes to pursue specialized study in ethnic and/or folk traditions, instruments, or styles, for the purpose outlined above.
  • Applicants should be a citizen of the Americas.
  • There is no age limit.
  • Early Music America membership is required of all applicants. Historical performance students qualify for a one-year complimentary student membership. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact EMA.

Materials to be submitted

  • Contact Information 
  • Personal statement/project information, in writing and by video
  • Resume 
  • Music video and/or audio recordings (see application)
  • List of Works in music video and/or audio recordings
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 

Application Instructions and Information

  • One recipient will receive a $1,500 scholarship. 

Please contact EMA with any questions. We highly encourage you to submit your application several days prior to the deadline, so we can resolve any issues in a timely matter. We will not be able to accept any applications after the deadline has passed.

Learn more about how EMA supports study in the field of early music through Biennial Scholarships and Annual Workshop Scholarships.

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