Click here for the upcoming scholarship program (shown below)

2016 WMS SCholarship Winners

wms-2016-scholarship-winnerBridget Duba from West Catholic High School being awarded first prize in the
West Michigan Savoyards “Mikado” essay competition by James DeVries of Nicewander, Berens, and DeVries PLLC, our scholarship sponsor.


Winners                                                                           Score               Award

Bridget Duba               West Catholic                          22.8                 $1000

Amelia Justice             Northview                               21.4                   $500

Emma Bouman           Calvin Christian                     19.6                   $400

Kees van Liere             Grand Rapids Christian       17.8                   $200

Benjamin Mikula        Wellspring Preparatory        17.2                   $200

Justin Crump               Byron Center                           17.1                   $200

Connor Hartlein          Grand Rapids Christian        14.2                   $100

Dayna Zylstra              Grand Rapids Christian         13.8                   $100


Click here for the upcoming scholarship program (shown below)

2015 WMS Scholarship winners

2015 WMS Scholarship winner Elizabeth Jakubowski from Catholic Central being awarded her prize by WMS Scholarship sponsor Jim DeVries.

2015 WMS Scholarship winner Elizabeth Jakubowski from Catholic Central, accompanied by her mother, being awarded her prize by WMS Scholarship sponsor Jim DeVries.

Elizabeth Jakubowski   –   Catholic Central   –   $1000
Eve Hillman   –   Rockford High School   –   $200
Kate Bennett   –   Catholic Central   –   $200
Chelsea Fisk   –   Byron Center High School   –   $100
Allison Polkowski   –   Kenowa Hills High School   –   $100
Maddy Mathias   –   Rockford High School   –   $100

Elizabeth related The Sorcerer to her AP Government class which was taught by her teacher sponsor, Mr. DeWitt.

“This fall, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame to study social science or chemistry. I have always liked theater, and so I very much enjoyed watching the performance of The Sorcerer. However, what I think was especially great about their performance was that as I watched it, I realized how similar Gilbert and Sullivan’s thought process was to that of people today on a whole host of issues. It was amazing to think about how similar we as humans are to each other, even across generations and continents, and I have to wonder if Gilbert and Sullivan really knew what their work would do to the world, even a hundred years after they stopped writing! This was truly an incredible opportunity.”


Click here for the upcoming scholarship program (shown below)



Thuy-Tien Nguyen, accompanied by her parents, is presented with her $1000 scholarship award by Jim DeVries of the law firm Nicewander, Berens, & DeVries (NBD) who sponsored the 2014 scholarship competition.

Thuy-Tien Nguyen, accompanied by her parents, is presented with her $1000 scholarship award by Jim DeVries of the law firm Nicewander, Berens, & DeVries (NBD) who sponsored the 2014 scholarship competition.

Thuy-Tien Nguyen, Caledonia High School – $1000 Scholarship
Rachel Woods, Black River High School – $125 Scholarship
Charlotte Klyn, Hudsonville High School – $125 Scholarship
Audrey Wierenga, South Christian High School – $125 Scholarship
Megan DeRoo, Unity Christian High School – $125 Scholarship
Marta Von Holtz, West Ottawa High School – Honorable Mention
Deborah Mliakoff, Northview High School – Honorable Mention


Thuy-Tien’s Teacher Sponsor was Drama Teacher Mrs. Ruthven. She was able to relate the Princess Ida performance to her Senior English class including the study of World Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology.

“This fall I will be attending Calvin College to study biology and pre-medicine. The West Michigan Savoyards Scholarship Competition was a great opportunity for me to be able to watch a performance that I otherwise would not have bothered to attend. I am so grateful I tried it out, as I had such a fun time discussing and researching about the show afterward. I definitely hope many other students are provided with this opportunity as well, for I learned so much from watching and researching Princess Ida. I feel the show broadened my perspective on satirical plays and the society of Victorian England compared to today’s society. This entire experience was amazing.” – Thuy-Tien Nguyen


Click here for the upcoming scholarship program (shown below)

 2013 WMS Scholarship Winners

Our scholarship program was initiated in 2013. Twelve area high schools were represented with essay papers relating The Pirates of Penzance to subjects including English, Government, Drama, Choir, and after school athletics. Our 2013 Winners and Finalists are:

Ellen Hackett, Senior, West Catholic High School – $1000 Scholarship
Elizabeth Cuthbertson, Senior, Home Schooled – $500 Scholarship
Julia Klynstra, Senior, Zeeland East High School – Finalist
Megan DeRoo, Junior, Unity Christian High School – Finalist
Anna Bolton, Junior, Unity Christian High School – Finalist
Joshua Morren, Senior, Zeeland East High School – Finalist

West Michigan Savoyards 2013 Scholarship Winner

Ellen Hackett – $1000 Scholarship Winner
Stacey Danevicz – Teacher Sponsor
Jeff Hackett – Ellen’s Father
Ellen related The Pirates of Penzance to her American Government class
“In the fall I will be attending Aquinas College to study Biology and Pre-Medicine. I am grateful to have been a part of the first West Michigan Savoyards Scholarship competition and hope that it continues to grow and provide other students with the opportunity to experience Gilbert and Sullivan. I think this competition is a wonderful idea to help younger generations develop an appreciation for Gilbert and Sullivan and relate the past to the present.” – Ellen Hackett

West Michigan Savoyards 2013 Scholarship Winner

Elizabeth Cuthbertson – $500 Scholarship Winner
John Cuthbertson – Elizabeth’s Father
Sarah Cutherbertson – Elizabeth’s Mother
Elizabeth related The Pirates of Penzance to her English class
“I will be attending Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School in Denver, CO. The West Michigan Savoyards Scholarship was a great experience. It was very interesting and fun to analyze a show, pulling it apart to find little bits and pieces of culture that, when put together, paint a beautiful picture of Victorian England at the time. It was a fun experience and I would recommend it to all juniors and seniors. Not only is it an enjoyable opportunity, but it is also a valuable way to learn about Victorian England through a new medium – Gilbert and Sullivan’s skillful writing.” – Elizabeth Cuthbertson






























WMS 2017 Scholarship Program


  • To expose high school juniors and seniors to Gilbert & Sullivan, the arts, the social/political issues of Victorian England and how those issues relate to society today
  • To be an example of community, business, and school cooperation


Scholarship Application and Submission

  • Any high school Junior or Senior in western Michigan may apply and no purchase is necessary
  • Students are encouraged to attend a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s, Ruddigore, at the Wealthy Theatre and bring a parent, relative, or friend; however it is not a requirement
  • Students may attend the Thursday night performance (April 27, 2017) at no charge. Just check in at the scholarship registration table located in the theater lobby and receive your application
  • Alternatively a student may attend another performance between April 28 and April 30, 2017, or study the show with a friend, parent, or relative. Scholarship applications will be available at every performance
  • By May 13, 2017, you must submit your application form along with a paper (800 to 1200 words) including your thoughts and comments on the following points:
    • Your discussions with your Teacher Sponsor, other teachers, friends, and relatives about the show
    • Contrast your impressions of the show with one or more people you saw it with or discussed it with
    • What political and/or social issues from Victorian England were brought out?
    • Elaborate on whether these issues exist in American society today
    • How did the show relate to a high school class you are taking such as English, History, Government, Literature, Music, or Drama? Include examples
  • Attach your signed application form to your paper and mail to:

West Michigan Savoyards
c/o Bill McAndrew
12 W 38th St.
Holland, MI  49423

  • All submissions must be postmarked by May 13, 2017. No exceptions.
  • Properly signed electronic submissions can be sent to:



  • Judging will be done by volunteers from the West Michigan Savoyards and/or area high schools
  • It is recognized that there may be many excellent papers submitted for a limited number of scholarships. Finalist and/or Honorable Mention awards will be given.  Judges decisions are final.



  • A minimum of one $1000 scholarship will be awarded which can be used to offset costs at the college, university, or trade school of the recipient’s choosing
  • Additional scholarships ranging from $100 to $500 will be awarded based upon participation and support from schools and businesses
  • Scholarship funding comes from the WMS general fund, patron donations, foundation grants, and local businesses

The West Michigan Savoyards is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization and all donations are fully tax deductible as allowed by law.