Brian May Trust is a charitable
testamentary trust established under the
will of the late Brian May,
Australias leading film composer.
Mr May passed away on April 25 1997.
The Trust was created to provide a scholarship to promising Australian film composers (ordinarily resident in Australia) to study film-scoring for nine months at the University of Southern California (USC).
Under the will, the Trustees of the
Trust are Brian May's Solicitor, Mr Rob
Ffrench and his accountant, Mr Bill
Vanderstaay and Mr Michael Di Stasio is
responsible for the selection process.
The Trustees have determined that the scholarship will be provided for tuition in film-scoring at the USCs Thornton School of Music in the course known as the Advanced Studies Certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television.
The Brian May Trust Scholarship was first awarded for the 2003 Academic Year and will continue to be awarded biennially.
The Advanced Studies Certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television
The USC scoring for motion pictures and television program is a nine (9) month intensive course of study.
Students must work long hours studying scores, screening films, composing music, producing recording sessions and taking classes with and talking to the faculty and guests from the professional film music industry.
The course is designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Music in Composition or its equivalent.
Thornton School of Music Entrance Requirements
A total of 30 units must be completed to satisfy course requirements. The course covers the following units:
Important Dates for the 2005 Scholarship
1st September 2004: Scholarship applications forms available.
1st December 2004: Applications close 5pm (under no circumstances will late applications be considered.)
1st February 2005: The short-listed candidates will be notified.
31st March 2005: The successful candidate will be notified in writing.
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The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California
The Thornton School of Music was founded in 1884 and has since become the centre of higher education in the western United States, ranking among the top four schools of music in the nation. Thornton is consistently ranked within the top 1% of music schools and conservatories and offers a conservatory-quality music education within a larger University campus.
Situated in the heart of Los Angeles, the school offers students courses in instrumental and vocal performance, jazz, early music, conducting, composition, film and television scoring, music industry, music education, recording arts, pedagogy, choral and sacred music, conducting and opera.
It also offers a range of music minors and general interest courses for students majoring in other disciplines.
Thornton is a leading producer of live music performances in Southern California with more than 500 formal and informal concerts and recitals presented on campus each year. The school regularly presents well-known visiting artists and scholars in master classes, workshops, lectures, seminars and in performance, assuring students the broadest performing experience.
More information about the Thornton School of Music is available online at www.usc.edu/music.
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Scholarship Value - 2005 / 2006
The Scholarship value and method of payment is determined by the Trustees in their absolute discretion.
The maximum value of the Scholarship for the 2005-2006 academic year will be AUD$80,000.00 and will pay for or contribute to:
Please note that the successful candidate may be required to purchase additional materials dependant on the individual lecturer's requirements. Additionally the successful candidate may incur incidental additional expenses unrelated to the course and must be able to fun them.
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Scholarship Eligibility and Application Criteria
1. Applicants must be ordinarily resident in Australia.
The Trustees have determined that for the purposes of the Scholarship applicants will be deemed to be ordinarily resident in Australia if:
1. the applicant has his or her permanent home in Australia; or
2. Australia is the country of his or her permanent home notwithstanding that he or she is temporarily absent from Australia.
To be considered to be ordinarily
resident, applicants must show an
overriding element of permanent residence
in Australia , to be contrasted with a
place where he or she stays only casually
The applicant will be deemed not to be ordinarily resident in Australia if they reside in Australia for a special or non-permanent purpose only.
Australian or foreign citizenship is not necessarily a determining factor.
The Trustees will decide in their absolute discretion whether applicants are deemed to be ordinarily resident in Australia based upon evidence provided by them.
2. Applicants must hold a Bachelors Degree from a University, preferably in music composition. The Thornton School of Music (the School) prefers a Bachelors Degree in Composition specifically, however candidates with sufficient coursework in Composition and/or professional experience will be considered by the School.
Applicants acknowledge that while the Thornton School of Music has indicated that candidates with sufficient course work in composition and/or professional experience will be considered by the school, this decision is solely at the discretion of the Thornton School of Music and will not be subject to review.
3. The successful applicant will also need a valid passport, an F-1 student Visa to the United States and a completed non-immigrant visa application (A student Visa information package will be forwarded to the successful applicant).
4. International students on student visas must be registered as full-time students with the USC. This will be arranged by the Office for International Services and the departmental advisor.
Only completed applications on the
current official application form will be
considered. The Application form is
available on this
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All applications will be received and collated by Gail Allison at ffrench.commercial lawyers on behalf of the Trustees of the Brian May Trust. Applications will then be forwarded to Mr Michael Di Stasio, the Selection Coordinator, who has the responsibility for selecting the successful candidate.
Mr Di Stasio will review applications and nominate a shortlist of approximately five (5) applicants.
The short-listed applicants will be required to complete a USC Application for Graduate Admission and a Thornton School of Music Supplementary Application. Short-listed applicants may also be required to attend an interview at the Gold Coast Queensland at their own expense. In cases of proven hardship alternative arrangements may be permitted at the discretion of the Trustees.
As part of the interview process, the Selection Coordinator will determine how committed the applicants are to film-scoring and to the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. The Selection Coordinator will also ask the applicant to talk about their musical background, interests, ambitions and their knowledge of the benefactor, Mr Brian May and his works.
Following these interviews, the successful applicant will be selected and submitted to the Thornton School of Music for confirmation.
The Trustees reserve the right to submit more than one applicant depending on the requirements of the Thornton School of Music, and to seek the assistance of Thornton to make the final selection in such manner as they deem appropriate.
The successful candidate will be notified by the Trustees on or before the 31st March 2005
Biography of Michael Di Stasio, the Selection Coordinator
Michael Di Stasio was born in
Melbourne on 5th October 1958.
He holds a Bachelor of Education (Creative Arts) from the Melbourne State College; a Master of Education from Griffith University; is a Member of the Australian College of Education; a Member of the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers; and a Member of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. His current doctoral research work is in the field of artifical reality and music technology entitled, "The Virtual Conductor".
Mr Di Stasio has extensive experience in teaching in the primary, secondary, tertiary, international and industry training levels. He is a professional musician and his skills encompass performing as a Concert clarinettist and Jazz saxophonist, composing, arranging, and theatre-restaurant entertainment.
Mr Di Stasio was employed as a contract/sessional lecturer and tutor at Griffith University from 1991 until 2002 teaching in the Educational Training, Information Technology and Performing Arts courses, including Film and Television Music Scoring, Film and Television Music Analysis, Arranging and Orchestration and Instrumental Studies.
Mr Di Stasio has also been active as an independent consultant and guest speaker in the education and arts area, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.
Mr Di Stasio is currently pursuing an academic and management career at tertiary institutes in Tokyo.
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Award and Acceptance
1. The Trustees will notify the successful applicant (the awardee) in writing of their selection.
2. On notification of the scholarship award, the awardee must then provide the Trustees with written acceptance of the scholarship within fourteen (14) days of being notified of their selection.
3. The awardee will also be asked to provide a statutory declaration and this declaration must include the following:
4. The awardee will be required to immediately submit all USC application requirements for processing, including immigration requirements. These include the following:
5. The Trustees have the power to withdraw the scholarship from an awardee in their absolute discretion should the awardee:
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