Worcester AGO is pleased to offer each year a number of Will Sherwood Scholarships to provide aid and support to those wishing to study the organ with a local teacher. Awarded in the amount of $500 to be applied toward lessons, the scholarship also includes a year-long membership in the American Guild of Organists (including subscription to The American Organist monthly publication) and participation in a recital presented by scholarship recipients held in May.
Will Sherwood Scholarship – RULES & PROCEDURES (updated 2019)
1) Scholarship recipients must currently study with or be accepted for study with a current member teacher of the Worcester Chapter AGO. If student is seeking a teacher, click here for a list of AGO member teachers.
2) Scholarship recipients will be awarded a complimentary membership in Worcester Chapter AGO for the fiscal year (July to June) that their scholarship exists. The chapter will announce the scholarship winners and convey the lesson fees directly to the teacher. The scholarship award is for the year from July to April and will be apportioned by the teacher at a rate of $25/lesson and the remaining teacher’s fees will be paid by the scholar.
3) Awards are to be used solely for formal private organ study with an WorcAGO chapter member organ teacher. There is no scholarship recipient age limit. Award consideration will be given to a variety of goals and purposes for study, ranging from preparation for a career in organ performance and/or church music to reviewing and honing basic skills for improved service playing.
If the scholarship recipient’s lessons do not commence by Dec 31 of the award year, the scholarship is forfeited. The forfeited year counts as one of the two years regarding the maximum number of lifetime awards.
4) The total amount of resources available from the Scholarship Fund will be determined annually. The Scholarship Committee will then review qualifications, potential, and alignment with the WorcAGO Scholarship Program’s goals to determine the final recipients. Awards will be made in equal amounts to each recipient based on the total amount of resources available and number of awarded applicants.
5) Awards are considered and a decision made on an annual basis during each March-April. A recipient may be granted a lifetime maximum of two awards (two years of study), but must re-apply after the first year for consideration for the second year.
6) Recipients will be required to perform on the annual Worcester Chapter AGO Scholarship Recital, held in the Spring of the scholarship fiscal year (concert is approximately 14 months from application). Often this concert is in May along with our brief annual meeting. It is the responsibility of the student to understand when this concert is and to prepare repertoire accordingly. It is the teacher’s responsibility to guide the student toward successful performance of one or more pieces totaling 8-10 minutes for this concert. If for whatever reason the lessons that fulfill the teacher grant amount do not occur, the teacher must refund to the chapter the equivalent unused portion. If the teacher and student are no longer affiliated by the time of the May recital, it is the student’s responsibility to ask for recommendations from the chapter dean for a replacement teacher to assist where needed in order for the student to be adequately prepared. Participation in the May recital is a basic commitment and requirement for the scholarship grant. If the scholar withdraws from the program, they are asked to donate the equivalent equivalent funds used back to the Scholarship Fund because their commitment was not met. The teacher must notify the Dean if there is any withdrawal or cancellation or change of status.
7) All application materials (online form and teacher recommendation) are due by May 1, 2024. Applicants will be notified on or around June 1. Photos and biographies of recipients will be posted on the Worcester AGO website.
The teacher recommendation form can be downloaded HERE.
A list of past scholarship recipients can be found HERE.
Scholarship Application Form (please fill out the form below)