Sam Schiller Band Performance Scholarship

Open toFor students at Washington

This scholarship is presented in memory of Sam Schiller, a 1977 graduate of Washington High School.


A Scholarship award is made to a graduating senior of Washington High School who intends to participate in band while attending the college or university of their choice.

Amount1 scholarship(s) of $500 each. (total annual contribution: $500)
Award notesOne time award.
Selection criteria
  • Participate in band all 4 years of high school.
  • Have a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
  • Plan to participate in band in college.
  • Compete in the League Solo & Ensemble contest during their graduation year.
  • Exhibit outstanding citizenship and musicianship.
Selection process

Students who meet the eligibility requirements will submit an audio recording of their Solo & Ensemble Contest piece. The Washington High School band director will then select no more than 3 finalists. Each year the Foundation, in consultation with the WHS band teacher, will name a selection committee of three former district band teachers and/or former district band students. This selection committee will then listen to the anonymous audio recordings of these finalists and select the scholarship recipient. In addition to the recipient an alternate shall be selected and the scholarship shall be awarded to that individual if the primary award winner does not meet the requirements of the scholarship.


Sam SchillerSam Schiller was born in 1959, one of two sons of John and Aleen Schiller.  His father was a professor at Pacific Lutheran University.  Sam attended Parkland Grade School, Keithley Junior High School, and Washington High School.

While in grade school Sam started taking private piano lessons and when he started band he took private clarinet lessons.  He was in the band program playing in the top concert bands for a total of eight years while at the three schools.  His band instructors were Mr. Bob Winters at Parkland and Mr. Robert Harper at Keithley and Washington.  He was also a member of the district jazz band playing saxophone for Mr. Charles Williams.

Each year Sam performed at District Solo and Ensemble Contest earning superior and excellent ratings.  While in high school he was chosen to represent Washington High School at both All State and All Northwest Bands.  Sam was also selected to participate in the Washington State Bicentennial Band which performed at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

With his graduation from Washington High School in 1977 Sam earned music talent awards from both University of the Pacific and Pacific Lutheran University.  He chose to attend the school in his backyard, PLU, where he was active in music all four years.  Mr. Roger Gard was his band director at PLU.

After graduating from PLU in 1981 Sam worked for, and later became manager of, Stereo Stores located in Lakewood, Washington.   For several years, until moving to California, he was playing clarinet in the Tacoma Concert Band.  This band is made up of mostly well-known local area band directors and other excellent community adult musicians.  It was directed by Mr. Robert Musser, past director of the University of Puget Sound bands.  Band was always an important part of Sam’s life.  He was an outstanding musician and won many honors.  But over the years Sam became acutely aware of a lack of recognition for such high achievement in the area of instrumental music.  He especially noticed the lack of local sponsored band scholarships.  Many other school related activates including sports received lots of recognition, individual honors and awards and local scholarships to colleges and universities.

Over the years realized he had a serious need for music in his life. He also realized his appreciation for music in the public schools and how it was such a major factor in his life.  Sam’s goal was that each year a deserving band student at Washington High School would receive recognition for their hard work and dedication in the form of a band performance scholarship. In 2015 Sam saw this dream come true, however on December 10, 2016 Sam lost his long battle with cancer. The Franklin Pierce Foundation is privileged to continue his scholarship.

Administration of the fundThe fund is administered by the Franklin Pierce Foundation, a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Washington.
Method of payment
  • Receipt of a completed Scholarship Acceptance Form will hold this scholarship for the student. The scholarship can be held no longer than 16 months after June 30th of the year of graduation from high school.
  • Upon receipt of Proof of Enrollment Form including a student ID number, funds will be released to the institution in the name of the student.
Complete the Scholarship Acceptance Form and Proof of Enrollment Form online at:
Fund typeAnnual scholarship