Scholarship Awards



The Ben Bechtel Award was created by the Board of Directors of the Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society in 2006 to recognize the many contributions made to the Society by Ben Bechtel (1936–2008), longtime MHKS treasurer, master luthier and harpsichord builder. The award was retained with the creation of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America.

The Martha Clinkscale Scholarship Fund was established by the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society in 2010 to honor the distinguished service to the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society and to the larger world of historic instruments of Martha Novak Clinkscale (1933-2010). The scholarship was retained with the creation of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America.

The goal of these awards is to foster interest in early keyboard instruments and the Society among younger people by partially underwriting the costs of attending a HKSNA conference. To that end, these awards may be awarded annually to promising young musicians, scholars, or instrument builder apprentices who demonstrate ability and an interest in early keyboard instruments. All students age 30 and younger, currently enrolled in an academic institution (or serving as a builder’s apprentice), and whose study or field of interest is related to learning to play, build, or research any early keyboard instrument (organ, harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, etc.) or music written for them, are eligible to apply for an award.


  1. The Awards Oversight Committee will have responsibility for all aspects of the administration of these awards. The committee will set deadlines, advertise the availability of the awards, review submitted applications, select winners, and ascertain an appropriate dollar amount for the awards in any given year, based on need, distance traveled, availability of funds, etc. The committee will also bear principal responsibility for the solicitation of donations to fund these awards on an ongoing basis.
  2. The committee retains the right to not grant an award in any given year at their discretion, for example, if no suitable candidates are presented, or if sufficient funds are not available.
  3. The committee shall establish an application deadline that provides the committee with adequate time to review applications and reach decisions prior to the conference. This date may vary from year to year depending on the dates of the conference and needs of the committee. The committee may also elect to accept applications submitted after the deadline at their discretion.
  4. The committee will take appropriate steps to advertise the availability of these awards by such avenues as the Newsletter, web page, etc.
  5. Applications may be submitted by the candidate (self-nomination) or by a teacher, professor, mentor, instrument builder, or other appropriate person. In either case the application requirements are the same. Complete applications shall include: a letter of application from the candidate stating his/her birth date, current program of study and educational institution in which enrolled (if applicable), interest in early keyboard instruments or their music, background, aspirations, and qualifications; and one or two confidential letter(s) of recommendation from teacher(s) and/or mentor(s). If appropriate, financial need may be described within these documents, and may be considered by the committee. (Letters of recommendation should be sent separately by the individuals providing the recommendations and not included with the applicant’s letter of application.)
  6. All application materials should be sent to the Secretary or the chair of the Awards Oversight Committee, who will immediately distribute them to the committee.
  7. Qualifications for these two awards are functionally identical, and applicants who might apply for a specific award may be considered for and awarded either one. All applications shall be placed in one pool and reviewed collectively to determine winners. Qualifications for determining winners shall include perceived benefit to the candidate, merit demonstrated by experience and in recommendations, creativity in the application, financial need, and/or other considerations at the discretion of the committee.
  8. The committee will review all applications and make a determination of winner(s) and award amount(s) in a timely fashion so that the winner(s) can be notified far enough in advance of the conference to permit appropriate travel plans to be made, etc., insofar as is possible.
  9. Except in exceptional circumstances, one Bechtel Award and one Clinkscale Scholarship shall be awarded each year, from the complete applicant pool. No more than one of each award may be awarded in any one year. In years where only one award is made, the Bechtel and Clinkscale scholarships should alternate, provided adequate funding exists. Candidates who have won a Bechtel or Clinkscale award shall be ineligible from consideration for future Bechtel or Clinkscale awards.


  1. Winners will be awarded a fixed dollar amount award, the amount to be determined by the committee. The amount of the award should be based on the anticipated costs to the winner to attend the conference, specifically: travel, lodging, meals, and conference registration. The amount of the award generally should be less than the anticipated expenses; winners should be expected to cover some of their expenses so they feel they have some investment in the conference.
  2. Should any award winner not be a current member of HKSNA, an annual student or regular membership will be conferred as part of the award, with the appropriate membership dues withheld from the award amount presented to the winner.
  3. Winners shall not be required to submit receipts for reimbursement under normal circumstances. It is understood that expenses are incurred as part of attending the conference, and winners may apply the funds provided to cover expenses at their discretion. The appropriate award amount, in the form of a check, should be made available at the registration desk for pick-up by the winner. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the committee in special cases where the winners’ actual expenses are unknown in advance. In such cases, the award may be set as a maximum amount, with the actual amount of the award determined by submission of appropriate receipts to the committee. The actual award amount, in these cases, will equal the total of all appropriate receipts submitted to the committee within 30 days of the end of the conference, up to the pre-determined maximum as set by the committee. This may be appropriate in cases where, for example, a winner commutes from home or lodges with friends, thus incurring little or no travel or lodging expense.
  4. It is expected that each award recipient will attend the entire conference, from first day to last, and attend as many papers, concerts, or other presentations associated with the conference as possible. If a winner is unable to attend the conference for any reason, their award will be forfeited.

5. Winners will be announced and acknowledged before the membership at an appropriate time during the conference, such as at the membership meeting. When appropriate, the recipient might be invited to make a presentation, such as a mini-concert, lecture, or instrument