After long hours of sifting through submissions, the scholarship committee certainly had a hard time selecting our 2021 winners. A time consuming venture reading resumes,essays and viewing audition video performances, the committee was intrigued by the level of professionalism, scholarship, humility and honesty of many of our applicants.

Please join us in wishing congratulations to our winning candidates – Isabelle Brutus, classical pianist and Niya Crawford, mezzo soprano. This is our second year running the scholarship program, and this is probably the best submissions we have received. Well done Isabelle and Niya. We wish you all the best!! To everyone else, thanks again for taking part.

Remember this is an annual competition so if you weren’t lucky this time you are welcome to apply again for the Summer 2022 Summer Scholarship Studies Award.

To ALL of our supporters and donors – a HUGE thank you. These awards were possible because of your financial contributions. 100% of your donations were allotted towards each Scholarship Award.


Niya Crawford

Singer: Mezzo-Soprano

Niya Crawford is a fourth year Mezzo-Suprano vocal performance major at Florida A&M University where she is the Alto section leader in the Florida A&M University Concert Choir. The choir focuses on gospel, classical, jazz, and musical theatre. Her most proud moments include the opportunity to sing the Verdi Requiem with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. Niya was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Incorporated in the spring of 2018 and served as the Vice President of Rituals in 2019.

Outside of her formal education, Niya is a member of the band, The Disciples of Music based in Tallahassee, Florida and performs in several cities throughout the state. In 2019 her singing career was capstoned by a tribute concert to the incredible Earth Wind and Fire, where she sang before 5,000 attendees, with an original arrangement and performance at the Tallahassee community block party “Frenchtown Rising”.

Niya is looking forward to graduation spring 2021 and pursuing her career as an independent artist.


Isabelle Brutus

Classical Pianist

Isabelle Brutus has been studying classical piano for 14 years. She was born in Rhode Island, U.S, and moved to Orlando, Florida at the age of 4. At the age of 8, Isabelle began piano studies at the Ruby Holland School of Music. She attended Forest Lake Academy in Orlando, Florida where her passion for music flourished.

She continued her music studies at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, studying piano under Dr. Marina Fabrikant and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Music and an Associate of Science in Biomedical Science in December 2020. While in college, she was the assistant to the vocal instructor and choir director, Dr. Ricky Little. Isabelle was the accompanist for two choirs, vocal lessons, and several vocal ensembles, and with her passion for music, Isabelle became a supporting influence in music activities in college where she became president of the Music Club, where she organized events that exposed college students to classical music.

Another of Isabelle’s passion is medicine. She grew up with great admiration of her dad’s career as a physician but also his love and passion for classical music. Isabelle hopes to follow in his footsteps and is currently in the process of applying to medical school. However, despite her pursuit of a career in medicine, Isabelle looks forward to sharing her love for music by exposing children and young people to the world of classical music.



Hello supporters and friends of the Ruby Holland Foundation, welcome to a new month filled with new hope as we steadfastly and prayerfully stride daily in this our brave new world.

COVID-19 has now touched every aspect of our lives in so many ways Many have lost relatives, friends, partners, and children. Too much pain and heartbreak 💔 We at the Ruby Holland Foundation would like to express our love and care for all who have suffered loss and are experiencing difficulties during these testing times. You may agree with me that tribulation although super painful can at most times be a catalyst in the development of great inner strength. We have all been forced to really reflect and learn from our condition and experiences during this time of quiet and adjust to our ‘new normal’. Amid this mayhem, we at the foundation had to seriously examine our plans for this year’s summer program which would allow for a favorable solution for all parties.

We had not long ago officially given honor to our 2020 RHFA Scholarship winner. We all celebrated on December 15th last year, at our Annual Fundraiser Concert receiving great support from The Woman's Club of Winter Park.

Vera Owiredu Baffour was presented and she performed for us all. She was then all set to begin studies in Italy for 2 weeks at the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, then the virus raised his ugly head. Good news .... is that her award stands strong, and we look forward to the unlimited possibilities of 2021. Please join me in congratulating Vera. Share and show some love for this young lady. She is deserving of this opportunity and recognition. Congratulations Vera, keep up your focus and practice and be ready for next year.