2022 Betty Van Andel Scholarship winner, Elise Alvaro Dysart, with OGR Board Member, Kyle Van Andel2022 Betty Van Andel Scholarship winner, Elise Alvaro Dysart, with OGR Board Member, Kyle Van Andel

Betty Van Andel Scholarship

Named in memory of Betty Van Andel and inspired by her lifelong passion for music and her many contributions to Opera Grand Rapids, both as a board member and benefactor, the Betty Van Andel Scholarship seeks to continue Betty Van Andel’s vision of promoting opera in West Michigan by encouraging singers who have distinguished themselves as exceptional candidates to pursue continuing education and development in opera and/or the vocal arts.

Each year the Betty Van Andel Scholarship provides an award of up to $2,000 to an exceptional candidate who is either a resident or a student resident in West Michigan. The funds are intended to cover the expenses of an opera-related program outside of a traditional degree program. Funds awarded are provided directly to the program or institution in which the recipient is enrolled.

2023–24 Season Betty Van Andel Scholarship

Application for the Betty Van Andel Scholarship will open in spring 2024.

The scholarship will be awarded at Opera Grand Rapids’ annual gala in May 2024. The scholarship recipient is obligated to attend and perform one piece.

Examples of opera-related activities for which this award may be used:

  • Training programs
  • Conference
  • Workshops
  • Study abroad programs
  • Young artist programs

This list is not intended to be exhaustive but is a guide to the type of requests that have been honored in the past.

To be eligible a candidate must:

  • Be a vocal student dedicated to pursuing education or professional development in opera and/or the vocal arts.
  • Be a current resident of West Michigan or student residing there (defined as the counties of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, and Van Buren).

Application materials:

  • Typed, two-page, double-spaced letter describing your experience with opera, your aspirations for a future in opera, and the type of program in which you would like to enroll if awarded funds.
  • Letter of recommendation that speaks to your qualifications at the time of application.
  • Current resume of your work to this point.

Scholarship details:

  • Opera Grand Rapids is an equal opportunity organization and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, sex, height, weight or marital status.
  • Recipients of this scholarship must meet all eligibility requirements.
  • All decisions of the Van Andel Family Foundation are final, including the decision to give partial awards or no award.
  • The winner is requested to write a summary of his/her use of the scholarship funds and submit it to Opera Grand Rapids by December 31, 2024.
  • The winner will receive the award and sing one piece at the Opera Grand Rapids annual gala in May 2023.
  • The scholarship must be used by December 31, 2024, or is otherwise forfeited.


Kaitlyn Markus | 2023 Winner


Elise Alvaro Dysart | 2022 Winner

Paige Gadbois | 2021 Winner

Catherine Gispert | 2020 Winner

Riley Wells | 2019 Winner

Christine Sankey | 2018 Winner

David Anderson | 2017 Winner

Trevor Vanderzee | 2016 Winner