2015 Benjamin Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund Student Recital Tuesday, May 19, 2015 7:00 PM The School for Creative and Performing Arts Mayerson Theater 108 W. Central Pkwy., Downtown   Free and Open to the Public! Special Appearance by members of the CSYO Nouveau Chamber Players. Popcorn Reception Immediately Follows.        

Our History

The Benjamin Carlson-Berne Memorial Scholarship was established in 2004 by Susan Carlson and Philip Berne, in memory of their son Ben.

Ben was a serious student of piano. He loved classical music and grew into a young man full of vitality and spontaneity, with a deep sensitivity for beauty. In high school Ben took it as his mission to help ensure that his love of classical music could be shared with underserved youth. He volunteered his time and talents to help connect youth to classical music, to teach music lessons and to locate instruments for students who could not afford them. Ben’s short life ended in 2002 at age 19 in a hiking accident. Ben’s vision has inspired others who also want to spread the love of classical music, making the scholarship a growing success and a living legacy to the inspiration of one youth.

Learn More About Ben

Our Mission

The mission of the Ben Carlson Berne Scholarship Fund is to provide the highest quality private music lessons for underserved youth in the Cincinnati community who show an interest in classical music and commitment to lessons.

There are unique and distinctive features of this Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded based on commitment and financial need, versus strictly ability or talent. Once awarded, the scholarship is renewable yearly through the end of high school to encourage a mentoring relationship to develop between the students and their professional music teachers who are invested in their success. Their teachers are either CSO members or of similar caliber. To insure this continuity, enough money is kept in the Fund to support each student throughout their middle and high school career. Currently most of the youth are students of the School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Please see the Eligibility Criteria for more information.

Donations Encouraged

We invite you to consider a donation!There are many more students who cannot afford lessons. The musical education we give goes beyond a simple lesson.

We are mentoring on youth to develop as citizens and strong adults for tomorrow. It now takes $600 each year to provide private music instrument lessons for one student. 100% of your donation will go directly to the Benjamin Carlson-Berne Scholarship fund of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Please click the button below to donate on-line.
Our deepest thanks for all your support!

or by Mail:
Development Department
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45210-2290
Contact: or 513.744.3472.