Our Story

In 1950, a nucleus of women from the Gastonia Music Club recognized the immense talent of Gastonia High School student, Dan Pressley. They sought out area businessmen in an effort to raise money for his college education. The nonprofit Gaston Music Education Foundation was formed as a result of their work.

GMEF has continued to provide scholarships for summer music camps and college tuition. It is one of the few organizations of its type in the United States. All Gaston County students in grades ten through twelve are invited to participate in an audition that determines scholarship winners each year.

The scholarship winners are awarded a session of music camp at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Summer Music Camp or

Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University. For twelfth graders who plan to major in music, scholarship awards are applied to tuition at the college of their choice. The scholarships allow students to pursue personal and professional goals.

The camp and college experiences encourage our future leaders to excel in their specific skill areas. These experiences also boost morale as well as build self-esteem, confidence, and character. Many of our scholarship recipients have returned to Gaston County to teach and perform, thus greatly enhancing the quality of life and the arts in our community. GMEF appreciates the broad base of community support we have had. Contributions from individuals and area businesses make up the major source of our funding. We hope you will join us in our support of youth and the arts.