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Tim Rufus McCullough Scholarship Fund Recipient Announcement

Bloomingdale School of Music Announces First Recipient of Tim McCullough Scholarship – April 20, 2023


Music is a powerful art form that can connect people from all walks of life. It can bring joy, peace, and healing to those who listen and create it. Our beloved former piano teacher, Tim McCullough, knew this better than anyone. He poured his heart and soul into teaching music to his students and inspiring them to discover the magic of music for themselves.



When Tim passed away in November 2021, his legacy of connecting budding musicians with the power of music continued to live on. To honor his memory, we established the Tim Rufus McCullough Scholarship Fund. This scholarship recognizes students who show exceptional dedication and commitment to music, just as Tim did.

And now, we are thrilled to announce the first recipient of the Tim McCullough Scholarship: Nora Gurpinar.

Nora first met Tim in 2015 as a violin student at Bloomingdale. She later went on to study piano with Tim until his passing. Her sister, Vera, also became a student of his. The scholarship covers the cost of private music lessons for Nora during our Spring 2023 semester.

Nora’s mother, Merih, expresses her gratitude. “As a family who experienced Tim’s incredible teaching and mentorship firsthand, we are deeply moved that Nora has been selected as the first recipient of this scholarship.” 



Over the years, Nora and her family grew very close to Tim, as a music teacher and family friend. “Tim was more than just a teacher to our family; he was a friend and mentor,” Merih, expressed. “Before Nora and Vera began taking piano lessons with Tim, they had many performance opportunities with him during various recitals and competitions at Bloomingdale… He was a very special teacher who touched the lives of all his students and colleagues.” 

When we asked how Nora’s progress is going with her piano studies, Merih replied, “Nora is currently studying piano with Olga Gurevich, and she is making great progress. She is working on Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major and is also learning all the major scales to advance her technique… Nora is dedicated to music, and the scholarship will provide her with the opportunity to continue to develop her skills and pursue her passion.”

As a tribute to her former teacher, Nora dedicated her audition tape for the LaGuardia High School instrumental category to Tim back in February 2022. Watch Nora play Mozart – Piano Sonata in A Major (Alla Turca) which she chose because during the pandemic because it gave her “happiness and optimism”:



The Tim McCullough Scholarship is just one of the ways in which we at Bloomingdale are committed to supporting the next generation of musicians. We offer a wide range of programs for students of all ages and skill levels, and are dedicated to providing high-quality music education to the community. Merih says, “The scholarship is a fitting tribute to Tim’s legacy, and we are honored and grateful that Nora is the first recipient. She will make his legacy live on.”

We are so happy that Tim’s memory will live on through the lives of his students and the music they create. Congratulations again to Nora and we wish her the best of luck!