Performing Arts Scholarship

For over a decade, the Oconee Performing Arts Society has resolved to enrich the lives of local students through multiple educational approaches. Mindful of the staggering debt incurred by college loans, OPAS initiated 5 years ago a scholarship program to provide financial assistance to students pursuing college studies in the performing arts. The criteria for this award covers a wide range of requirements, including grade point average, extensive performance experience in school as well as in the community, volunteerism, and a major in one of the many fields of the performing arts. To date, OPAS has awarded 9 scholarships. 

For more information, contact the OPAS office at 706-467-6000.

Emily Hankinson,

2019 Scholarship Winner

Attending Samford University, Theater Major

"It was not until I began to work with OPAS that my faith in my abilities began to rekindle. The OPAS scholarship proves to me that no matter what I choose to do in the arts, OPAS will always be here to support me, and for that, I am eternally grateful." 

Mary Meade,

2019 Scholarship Winner

Attending University of North Georgia, Music Major

I am proud to have been selected to receive the OPAS scholarship, and appreciate the support of my continued education in the arts. This scholarship will help pay for my degree in music performance and the supplies that I will need while studying at UNG. I am excited to continue to grow as an artist, and I look forward to the opportunities that will be available to me next year. 

Nicki Dail and Niah Kalpak, 2019 Scholarship Winners

Nicki: Attending Georgia College,

Music Therapy Major

Niah: Attending University of North Georgia,

Music Therapy Major

Through the money OPAS has so generously offered, I will be able to begin to cover the tuition that burdens all of those that go to college. I am going to strive to become that best music therapist I can be, and I will always be thankful for what OPAS has done for me. - Nicki Dail

OPAS is helping kids understand the importance and impact music can make, as it helps develop concentration skills, discipline, coordination, determination, and much more.

 - Niah Kalpak

Seth Wicker,

2017 Scholarship Winner

"Receiving an OPAS scholarship helped me immensely as I began my college career. Not only was it a huge financial help, it served as a reminder of the support I have at home. This is huge because in the theatrical and educational world, collaboration and support are a must. This support inspires and encourages me to do the same with my future students. Thank you OPAS for the support that you have given me to aid in continuing my education!" 


Seth is a Musical Theater Education major at Columbus State University with a 3.85 GPA! He has been cast in several campus productions including the lead role in Newsies.

jessica bailey.jpg

Jessica Bailey,

2015 Scholarship Winner

Receiving an OPAS scholarship meant the world to me as I was beginning my journey of pursuing vocal performance at the collegiate level. Not only was it a help financially, but it also acted as a reminder of the amazing support system I have at home. As a performer, having a strong base of people who want to see you excel and find success is essential, and I'm so blessed to be able to have a support system like OPAS and the Lake community. 


Jessica is a graduate from University of Kentucky with a Bachelors of Arts in vocal performance and a Bachelors of Music in choral music education, with a minor in Theater!  And with a 4.0 GPA!

savannah cathey.jpg

Savannah Cathey,

2015 Scholarship Winner

As an aspiring opera singer, I have been immensely helped by OPAS and Jeffrey Wells.  He has been a wonderful mentor and has introduced me to numerous colleagues in the industry.  Besides his assistance with a benefit recital to raise money for a summer voice program in Italy, OPAS  awarded me a supplemental scholarship that helped defray my expenses.  The vocal program changed my life, and this scholarship gave me the ability to go to Italy to meet teachers and study voice.


Savannah is a graduate student at Georgia State University and studies voice under teacher Kay Paschal as well as Carroll Freeman, the director of the Opera Theater Department at Georgia State University.