Paul & Lillian Petri were both born in 1877. Paul was a tenor who studied voice in New York City before traveling to Europe to continue his musical training under eminent teachers in London and Berlin. Lillian Jeffreys Petri was an accomplished pianist who studied and taught piano in New York, Berlin, and London. Professor and Mrs. Petri were beloved music teachers, respected by their students throughout Oregon. Although the Petris have long since passed, their musical influence continues today. The Petris bequeathed their estate to the Benton Community Foundation (BCF) in Corvallis, Oregon to help talented young musicians continue their study of music.
BCF awards a scholarship from the Lillian & Paul Petri Music Study Fund every two years to a talented young musician. Applicants must be a resident of Oregon or an Oregon high school graduate and desire to pursue a musical career. The scholarship provides $10,000 for a winner toward advanced study within the United States or abroad for the 2 years following the award. The determination of whom shall be granted a scholarship from the Lillian & Paul Petri Music Study Fund is made on the basis of a musical performance competition judged by notable professionals in the field. BCF partners with Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) to plan and facilitate the competition.