Scholarship Page

RAMI Scholarships

Christine Albarran (Knodle)

2004 Gary S. Wilmer / RAMI Music Scholarship

Christine Albarran currently pursues her passion for string music education as Assistant Orchestra Director at Roach Middle School in Frisco, Texas.  Christine began her violin studies at the age of 3 at the Music Academy in Rockford with Eleanor Stanlis.  She completed undergraduate degrees in Music Performance and Business from Columbia College Chicago and Rockford University and obtained her Masters of Teaching from Columbia College Chicago. She has previously taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Sherwood Community Music School, and the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute.  She also enjoys performing with a variety of ensembles, ranging from symphony orchestras to rock bands. She recently self-produced a children’s album titled, “Songs For My Daughter” which you can find on iTunes and Spotify.  When not playing or teaching music, you can find Christine cherishing every moment with her loving husband, two young children and sweet dog.

The Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. has awarded over $70,000 to over 50 students to support their desire to study music.

The Gary S. WIlmer / RAMI Music Scholarship

The Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Trust was established in 1996 to honor the memory and continue the legacy of Gary Wilmer by awarding scholarships to students who wish to pursue and education in music. Gary was the founder & publisher of RAM Magazine, a Rockford area music monthly, and a founding organizer of the RAMI awards. Joe Guzzardo, owner of Guzzardo Music, said of Gary, "He was thoughtful and sensitive, and thoroughly understood the problems and needs of local music and musicians." Gary could do it all, be it organizing benefits, booking bands, running sound or lights, helping new music club owners or encouraging new talent to persevere. As the president of his senior class at East High School, as a graduate of Rockford College and as a successful businessman, Gary's 43 years of living showed that education is a marvelous "conductor" of a successful musical life.

It is the sincere hope of the RAMI scholarship committee that the recipients of this scholarship will carry on Gary's legacy with pride.

Scholarship Selection Criteria

- Be a college-bound student in Boone, Ogle or Winnebago County;
- Be 19 years old or younger as of the application deadline;
- Be attending or planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college/university;
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0;
- Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to further their musical education throughout college; and
- Be actively involved in school or community musical groups.
- Past recipients are not eligible to reapply.

Deadline February 1. For more information and online application forms, visit

RAMI Young Artists Music Scholarship

RAMI funds several programs through The Music Academy in Rockford. Each student is nominated by the staff of the Music Academy and must demonstrate financial need. Scholarship covers one year of study.

PO Box 4128, Rockford, IL 61110
ramicommittee @

Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. is classified as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the standards of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, any donations to the Rockford Area Music Industry, Inc. may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.