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Woman leaves $10 Million donation to Music School Of Delaware in her will

[Jan 16, 2022: Natasha Brown]

The Music School of Delaware is striking a historic note after a whopping $10 million donation is given to the school. (CREDIT: CBS 3 Philly)

The Music School of Delaware hits its highest note yet, with an unprecedented donation from a woman who had never donated to the school before.

School officials say the multi-million dollar gift will be a life-changer for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to learn music.

The Music School of Delaware is striking a historic note after a whopping $10 million donation is given to the school.

“I can’t hear the name Mary Ellen Northrop without just thinking gratitude,” said Kate Ransom, the president and CEO of the Music School of Delaware.


Heartfelt gratitude to Mary Ellen Northrop, who died in June 2021. She had never donated to the Music School before, but she left the biggest gift in the nearly 100-year-old school’s history.

“She has done a magnanimous act to help the people of our region, especially young people and their families who want access to music education but otherwise couldn’t afford it,” Ransom said.

“We start off with early-age kids as young as 2 years old here at the Music School with our early childhood program,” said Troy Nuss, development officer at the school.


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The fund will be used to sponsor financial scholarships for as many as 80 students a year — students who may have never had the opportunity to learn music.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer is a former Music School alum and says this donation is a game-changer for so many.

“Because of this gift, we can now say it with a straight face, that there truly is music for everyone,” Meyer said. “If you are in this area of Delaware and want to learn an instrument, it does not matter how much money you have.”


The unprecedented act of generosity is certain to change lives.

Northrop grew up in New York state. She earned multiple degrees from Rutgers University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. At one time, she served as a financial and tax analyst for DuPont Company. She loved music and what an amazing gift she left behind for the Music School of Delaware

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Note: Materials provided above by Natasha Brown. Content may be edited for style and length.


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