The Maurice T. & Ruth A. Rhodes Scholarship for Wind Players

The story of Maurice Rhodes illustrates the power of music education. An excellent trombone player, he had an abiding love of music, and this love fueled a dream to become a band director. This dream carried Maurice all the way from Memphis, TN, to Chicago with only $20 in his pocket. He had been told by his high school band director that VanderCook College of Music was the only place to go to bring his dreams to fruition. 

Maurice grew up in a poor family, and he knew acutely that managing to pay for tuition and housing would be difficult, but the calling he felt was a strong one. 

H.E. Nutt, one of VanderCook's co-founders, immediately recognized that Maurice had something special to offer the music world. Maurice, was able to work for his tuition, and he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree because someone at VanderCook believed in him and gave him a chance. 

That chance was taken with great reward. Maurice Rhodes became an icon in the music world, particularly in the print music industry. After graduating from VanderCook, he became the "go-to guy" at Carl Fischer Music for many directors in the Midwest and beyond. He held an unrivaled wealth of school band and orchestra music knowledge, and as some have said, "before there were computers, there was Maury Rhodes." Furthermore, Maurice was a mentor to countless young directors who received his words of encouragement, his guidance and the warmth of his personality. 

You can find a story like Maurice's in many VanderCook students. Brilliant, talented, passionate, but struggling to overcome financial obstacles — all they need is someone to take a chance on them.

To honor the memory of her husband, VanderCook Professor of Woodwinds and Director of Student Teaching Ruth Rhodes created the Maurice T. and Ruth A. Rhodes Scholarship. It is awarded to an incoming freshman woodwind or brass player who is academically strong, a fine musician in financial need, and who, like Maurice is "determined to make it work."

The recipient must also embody the dispositions VanderCook seeks to nurture in its future teachers: strength in character, excellence in music, and professionalism in teaching. It is a renewable award, dependant on the student maintaining academic responsibilities. 

Ruth___Maury_Rhodes_REBALMaurice and Ruth Rhodes


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

Stay Connected


Continuing Education  




Powered by Website design and development by, Inc