For area high school students to attend summer camp for the study of art, music, dance or theater


Area high school students are eligible to receive Dorothy Bronson Memorial Scholarships through the summer following high school graduation.  OTCF Scholarship Committee determines recipients and amount of awards.  Recipients may receive these funds one time only.  

Deadline for application and supporting documents is

February 15th.

After spring scholarships are granted, remaining funds may be made available as scholarships for other humanities-related programs.  

To apply for the Dorothy Bronson Memorial Scholarship, please submit the following:

  • Application form

  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s instructor

  • Proof of applicant’s acceptance at an art, music, dance, or theater camp

Send the information above by mail to: 

Oregon Trail Community Foundation,

Scholarship Committee

P.O. Box 1344

Scottsbluff, NE  69361


Bronson (Dorothy) Memorial


Dorothy Bronson 

Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1901, Bronson

kicked off her teaching career in the Panhandle

when she opened a music studio on 17th and

Broadway in Scottsbluff in 1930. The studio

operated in the middle of the Depression era

and she was offering her lessons for 25 cents

per session.

Later, Bronson uprooted her studio and moved it to Mitchell, where she

began teaching piano and voice lessons out of her home. It was here

students from as far away as Torrington, Wyo., honed their crooning

and ivory-tickling skills.


Bronson was steadfast in ingraining the art of performance in each of

her students, firmly encouraging them to use appropriate facial

expressions and proper bowing technique.“In my studio, everyone was a star,” she said in character. “Why do anything if you aren’t going to make it grand?”

Through the singing groups she established, Bronson offered her students the chance to see the world. Bronson’s pupils not only performed patriotic numbers at local charity events, they belted popular show tunes in distant states, such as Florida, California and Hawaii as well as international venues in Mexico, Europe and Asia.

She loved teaching and learning about the cultures of other countries. Her teaching extended beyond the notes and staff paper. Bronson also taught her students how to serve others and relate to people.

Bronson’s students could often be seen serving the refreshments at their own concerts.

“If you can’t relate to people, how are you going to relate the music to people?” she said in character.

In 1982, Bronson’s life was cut short when she suffered a heart attack after being assaulted in her home by an unknown attacker. Her attacker was never caught.

She may be gone, but she is not forgotten. The Dorothy Bronson Memorial Sculpture was unveiled in a memorial rose garden, across the street from the West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottsbluff during Legends week events in September and a memorial scholarship has been established in her name to support area students looking to attend summer camp and study art, music, dance or theater.

Bronson was one of the characters portrayed by actors during the recent Mitchell Cemetery tour, and author Vivian Burns immortalized Bronson’s life and character in her book, “Dorothy Bronson: A self-portrait.”



This article is from the Star-Herald, written by Brandon Nelson, Oct. 31, 2013. 


2021 Scholarship

Deadline is

April 1st!


Bronson Scholarship Recipients

1984 – Julie Warnke – Torrington ($750)
1984 – Karyn Scott – Scottsbluff ($700)
1985 – Laurie Blunsom – Torrington ($750)
1986 – Amy Lee Neben – Chappell ($750)
1987 – Maren Chaloupka – Scottsbluff ($750)
1989 – Christine Hancock – Lincoln ($750)
1991 – Jennifer Costello – Scottsbluff ($750)
1993 – Kimberly Randolph – Kimball (750)
1994 – Jonathon Kawaguchi – Scottsbluff ($1000)
1997 Chris Cooper – Harrisburg ($1000)
1998 – Lindsey Lathrop – Gering ($750)
1999 – Erin Bauer – Gering ($250)
1999 – Brittney Kaufman – Gering ($750)
2000 Sarah Thompson – Scottsbluff ($1000)
2004 Danielle Winters – Gering ($750)
2004 Emily Stein – Scottsbluff ($222)
2006 April Wylie – Gering ($125)
2007 JaCee Pilkington - Minatare ($350)
2007 Jacob Hoffman - Bayard ($350)
2007-2008 Ashley Brunz - Mitchell ($1,500)
2007-2008 Jamie Longoria - Gering ($1,500)
2007-2008 Shane Cline - Gering ($1,500)
2007-2008 Seth Spurgeon - Bridgeport ($1,500)
2009 Jaime Morlock - Lodgepole ($325)
2009-2010 Joe McDowell - Gering ($1688)
2009-2010 Titus Kautz - Scottsbluff ($1688)
2011-2012 Zach Durbin - Scottsbluff ($1200)
2011-2012 Kayla Petersen - Scottsbluff ($1200)
2013-2014 – Victoria Seibert – Morrill ($483)
2013-2014 – Alex Marker – Gering ($483)
2013-2014 – Rebecca Kouba – Scottsbluff ($483)
2013-2014 – David Weishaar – Scottsbluff ($483)
2013-2014 – Maggie Hopp – Minatare ($483)
2013-2014 – Brayden Ryan – Gering ($483)
2016 – Patrick Cassidy, Scottsbluff ($1,000)
2017 – Sydney Petitt – Scottsbluff ($2,200)

2018 -  Daede Ott - Gering ($1,000)

2018  - Meagan Scott, Mykelti Harris &

            Sidney Harris of Torrington ($1500)

2020 -