Youth Scholarships

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The Youth Scholarship Application will appear here soon. Scholarship application deadline will be April 1st.

Staff will let applicants know of decisions by May 1st.


Those who applied for scholarships in 2020 MUST RE-APPLY! However, you will not be required to re-submit some materials.

More details will be posted with the 2021 Application.

Warren Wilson College and The Swannanoa Gathering team are continuing to monitor information from the CDC and state and local health departments to determine the best course of action, in regards to this summer’s Gathering. We will continue to monitor this situation and will alert all applicants to any change to the workshops.



Each year, we award Youth Scholarships for the cost of tuition and housing in any of our programs to a number of promising young musicians and dancers. Several of these scholarships are memorial scholarships awarded during Celtic Week in memory of Tony Cuffe, and Regis Malady, during Old-Time Week in memory of Ralph Blizard, and during Contemporary Folk/Fiddle or Traditional Song Weeks in memory of Freyda Epstein, our dear friends and long-time staff members.

Applicants should be under the age of 22 and should submit by April 1st a completed application, a self-written letter of request for the specific week desired, giving background and contact information, including the applicant’s age, prior musical experience and stating why they should receive a scholarship, plus a letter of recommendation from a mentor or other individual knowledgeable in the applicant’s area of folk music or dance. Please do not send recordings. Priority will be given to those who have not received a scholarship before. An application fee is not required. Scholarships are merit-based, limited and competitive. Please send your application to: The Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, PO Box 9000, Asheville, NC 28815-9000 or fax it to: 828-298-3434

The Doug & Darcy Orr Music Fund is an endowment fund established to provide long-term financial support for the work of the Swannanoa Gathering now, and for decades to come. Originally established with a generous gift from one of our workshop participants, interest from the fund provides financial support for the program where it is most needed. Tax-free contributions to to the Doug & Darcy Orr Music Fund and/or for our Youth Scholarship fund are welcome and may be made online on the donation form.

A number of our scholarships are sponsored by private organizations or individuals. Are you interested in sponsoring a scholarship? Please contact our office for more information.