The BCB Scholarship was established in 2004 by Susan Carlson and Philip Berne, in memory of their son Ben whose passion it was to expose economically disadvantaged children and youth to classical music. 


Ben’s Story: 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.

Programming During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Though Covid-19 has prevented our students from attending lessons in person, we have been able to continue our programming over the course of the pandemic by gathering virtually. Our instructors and scholarship recipients have been continuing to pursue their love of classical music on platforms like GoogleMeet. We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of our Cincinnati Public School partners and their help in keeping students on track despite the disruption of the school year.

In our program at Oyler School, students have continued to make impressive progress in their lessons while navigating a virtual environment. We have also been able to continue programming at Withrow University High School, where virtual lessons have been crucial 


as students continue to study classical music while turning their attention to the future and – for many - college applications. We have also continued our programming virtually for our Cincinnati-based students in private lessons – in part thanks to our partnership with the School for Creative and Performing Arts – at a 100% retention rate. We are grateful for the passionate dedication of our instructors and students alike as they have continued to honor Ben’s legacy throughout this challenging time.



Special Thanks to Our Supporters

Vincent Van Gogh

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"


Demarre McGill