2021 Betty Van Andel Scholarship winner Paige Gadbois with OGR Board Member Kyle Van Andel2021 Betty Van Andel Scholarship winner Paige Gadbois 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 people who have distinguished themselves as exceptional candidates to pursue continuing education and development in an opera-related field.

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.  Opera-related programs include those that train any aspect of the operatic art form (i.e. voice, rehearsal pianist/coach, conductor, orchestra, theatre, dance, stage management, arts administration, set design, lighting design, etc.).  Funds awarded are provided directly to the program or institution in which the recipient is enrolled.

2020-21 Season Betty Van Andel Scholarship

Deadline to apply is April 2, 2021 by 11:59 p.m.

Applications can be submitted here.

The scholarship will be awarded at Opera Grand Rapids’ upcoming Gala on May 15 (Rain date – May 16).

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

  • Training Programs
  • Conference
  • Workshops
  • Study Abroad Programs
  • Young Artist Programs
  • Arts Administration internships

This list is not intended to be exclusive, but rather a guide for the types of requests that have been honored in the past.

To be eligible a candidate must:

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

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 Scholarship Committee 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, 2022.
  • The winner is requested to be present at an Opera Grand Rapids fundraiser to publicly accept the award.
  • Scholarship must be used by December 31, 2022, or is otherwise forfeited.


Trevor Vanderzee | 2016 Winner

David Anderson | 2017 Winner

Christine Sankey | 2018 Winner

Riley Wells | 2019 Winner

Catherine Gispert | 2020 Winner