Scholarship Page

RAMI Scholarships

Aria Beert

2021 Gary S. Wilmer / RAMI Music Scholarship

In school, I am a member of my orchestra, and I was a member of our Honors Orchestra, which was a more select group that performed in churches before the pandemic. I am also involved in the multiple activities/concerts that the Music Academy in Rockford plans out every year. I am in their most advanced orchestra called Measure 5, which performs difficult string pieces and usually performs out of state or out of the country every two years. We have performed in Arizona, Texas, Alaska, Iceland, and were invited to play in Scotland last summer. Members of Measure 5 and I have performed with the Rock Valley Summer Pops Orchestra at Sinnissippi Park, where we performed movements of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. My solo was the first movement of Winter. Also, I am a member of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, where I am the assistant concertmaster. As second chair, I am a member of RSYO's Sterling String Quartet. In this quartet, we play challenging movements from famous string quartets. In the first semester of my senior year we played all of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8, and this year we are playing movements from Ravel's String Quartet and first movement of the Grieg String Quartet No. 2. As a performer in the Rockford area, I also am involved with individual gigs with my parents or orchestral colleagues. We have played at funerals, weddings, fundraisers, churches, markets, and much more. Every year of high school I have become increasingly more involved with music and steadily increasing my repertoire as a musician.

The Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. has awarded over $70,000 to over 50 students to support their desire to study music.

The Gary S. WIlmer / RAMI Music Scholarship

The Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Trust was established in 1996 to honor the memory and continue the legacy of Gary Wilmer by awarding scholarships to students who wish to pursue and education in music. Gary was the founder & publisher of RAM Magazine, a Rockford area music monthly, and a founding organizer of the RAMI awards. Joe Guzzardo, owner of Guzzardo Music, said of Gary, "He was thoughtful and sensitive, and thoroughly understood the problems and needs of local music and musicians." Gary could do it all, be it organizing benefits, booking bands, running sound or lights, helping new music club owners or encouraging new talent to persevere. As the president of his senior class at East High School, as a graduate of Rockford College and as a successful businessman, Gary's 43 years of living showed that education is a marvelous "conductor" of a successful musical life.

It is the sincere hope of the RAMI scholarship committee that the recipients of this scholarship will carry on Gary's legacy with pride.

Scholarship Selection Criteria

- Be a college-bound student in Boone, Ogle or Winnebago County;
- Be 19 years old or younger as of the application deadline;
- Be attending or planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college/university;
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0;
- Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to further their musical education throughout college; and
- Be actively involved in school or community musical groups.
- Previous Wilmer scholarship recipients are not eligible to reapply.

Deadline January 1st. For more information and online application forms, visit

RAMI Young Artists Music Scholarship

RAMI funds several programs through The Music Academy in Rockford. Each student is nominated by the staff of the Music Academy and must demonstrate financial need. Scholarship covers one year of study.

PO Box 4128, Rockford, IL 61110
ramicommittee @

Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. is classified as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the standards of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, any donations to the Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.