Scholarships for Music Lessons

Pursuing a musical passion though private instrumental or vocal study is a valuable part of the Exeter experience. All students enrolled  in music lessons, who receive financial aid at the Academy, receive a music lesson scholarship to help cover the cost of lessons each term. These  music scholarships are made possible through the Dr. Herbert Zipper Fund.   This special music fund was established by a generous alumnus to honor a man whose life was dedicated to the teaching and the performance of music. 

It is the donor’s wish that all scholarship recipients learn something of the life and times of Dr. Zipper, who made extraordinary contributions to the arts and music education during his lifetime. Our library owns several copies of his works including the book, Dachau Song, and a documentary of his life, called Never Give Up. Dr. Zipper's legacy continues to inspire musicians around the world.  He believed in the power of the arts to transform lives, and we continue to benefit from his vision and generosity. 


Biography of Dr. Herbert Zipper

Herbert Zipper’s extraordinary life began April 24, 1904 in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Zipper is remembered as a man who triumphed over Nazi atrocities through his belief in music and the human spirit. In 1938 he was sent to Dachau, then to Buchenwald in 1939. His remarkable stories of survival include the formation of a secret orchestra in Dachau for which he conducted and composed music and gave clandestine concerts in an abandoned latrine. He was released from Buchenwald then journeyed to Manila Symphony Orchestra. When the Japanese invaded the Phillipines, he was imprisoned, released, then worked for the underground.

But the sum of his life was much more than his heroic survival through these horrific events. His life spanned four continents and the greater part of the twentieth century in the service of the arts and young people. As an active conductor and composer, Dr. Zipper was Music Director of several orchestras, including the Manila Symphony and the Brooklyn Symphony, and guest conductor for the Seoul Philharmonic and other orchestras in the Far East. He was also a regular visitor to China where he taught and conducted orchestras, ensemble groups and operas in Beijing and other major cities.

His first formal association with the community school movement occurred with his appointment as Director of the Music Center of the North Shore in Winnetka, Illinois. He soon became known as an authority on music education, acting as consultant to public school districts across the country and to the John D. Rockefeller III Fund. He was also the recipient of several awards and honors in the United States, Austria, the Philippines and China.

Dr. Zipper was the first Executive Director of the National Guild of Community School of the Arts in 1967. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts he was instrumental in establishing the Guild's national office that year, thirty years after the Guild was founded. He also served as President of the Guild's Board from 1957 to 1961. In 1985, he started and endowed the Young Composers Awards program at the National Guild which has given generous cash prizes to 52 gifted young composers.

Through his work with the Guild, Dr. Zipper was the inspiration behind the founding of dozens of schools in the USA and Canada and a guide, philosopher and friend to many who asked for his advice. Since 1980 he was the Artistic Advisor at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles which also sponsored the educational concerts he conducted at city public schools.

Dr. Herbert Zipper died on April 21, 1997 at the age of 92 in Santa Monica, California. In a tribute to his life and work, Robert Capanna, then Chairman of the Guild's Board of Trustees said, “Herbert Zipper was the father of the modern community arts school movement. He had a deep commitment to the power of the arts to transform lives and a lively sense of the artist as citizen and teacher. He was a true visionary.”