New Organist Scholarships

The Richmond Chapter of the AGO will award up to three scholarships to qualified adults and young persons who will be entering grade 8 or above in the Fall.

There is a critical shortage of trained organists in this country and in our locality. Smaller churches are especially affected. We wish to encourage the training of talented pianists to serve churches of any denomination or size. A part-time church organist position can provide valuable experience and supplemental income for competent players. A strong piano background is important to success. We do not intend for organ lessons to replace piano study, which should be continued by all serious students.


Qualifications

The student must:

  • Have a strong commitment to serving in the music ministry
  • Have no prior organ instruction beyond the elementary level
  • Demonstrate a high degree of musicianship
  • Audition on piano. The audition will include
    • two prepared classical pieces of contrasting period and style (one pre-19th century, one 19th century or later) lasting about five minutes each and at least grade 4 in difficulty (e.g., Clementi Sonatinas, faster movements);
    • major scales of up to 4 sharps and 4 flats hands together in parallel motion, two octaves ascending and descending;
    • sight reading a hymn and a short composition in two-part counterpoint.
    • simple aural and music notation tests
  • Obtain piano teacher's approval (for young persons currently studying piano)

Benefits

For those awarded a scholarship, the Richmond AGO chapter will:

  • Arrange organ lessons with a local Guild member who is a recognized organ teacher
  • Pay one-half ($225.) of the fee for fifteen 45-minute lessons each semester, September - December and January - May. In order to retain eligibility for continuation in the second semester, the student must attain a grade of C or better in the first semester
  • Arrange for practice time on an appropriate organ
  • Provide a free one-year subscribing membership in the AGO which includes subscriptions to the chapter newsletter and to the national monthly magazine plus the privilege of attending monthly chapter programs
  • Introduce the scholarship recipient at a Guild chapter meeting early in the Fall
  • Arrange a performance opportunity in an AGO Richmond Chapter program in May, 2018
  • Evaluate the recipient for scholarship renewal when exceptional achievement is demonstrated

Responsibilities

Scholarship recipients (and parents when applicable) must sign and abide by an agreement to:

  • Practice faithfully and attend lessons regularly
  • Promptly purchase organ playing shoes and music
  • Pay the balance of the lesson fees: $225. each semester. Installments can be arranged
  • Play in a public recital at the May, 2018 meeting of the Richmond AGO Chapter

Questions

If you have other questions about this program, contact Patricia Schrock by e-mail: pschrock@epiphanychurch.org


How do I apply?

Download an application.

Applications must be received by Monday, May 22, 2017.

Auditions will be held on Monday, June 5, 2107, beginning at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2315 N. Parham Road, Henrico, VA 23229. The church is south of I-64 at Lansdowne Road.

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