An Idea to share: Parish Music-Scholarship
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I'm launching a parish music scholarship this week with the pastor's approval and support, and very excited.

    I would appreciate any feedback and prayers.

    -Announcement from the Music Ministry
    Exciting news for young singers!! St. Jane parish is offering music scholarships to qualified middle school and high school students. The recipients will be awarded not only with the scholarship money but also with the honor to be mentioned when you apply for schools and other scholarships. So please spread the news. The application deadline is April 15th, and the auditions will be held the following week. There’s more info in this week’s parish bulletin.
    (Also encourage younger children to join the children’s choir, so they may benefit spiritually and vocally while preparing and singing for the Holy Mass.)
    Please contact Mia Coyne, music director, if you have any questions.

    Also, posting the following in the parish bulletin (as well as the application form) and the school newsletter

    Attention Young Singers !!!

    Parish music-scholarships for middle school and high school students

    Music Scholarships are being offered to qualified singers. Three middle school students and two high school students will be selected to sing in and lead the parish children’s choir and adult choir, respectively. $300 will be awarded to each middle school student, and $500 to each high school student. They will also receive proper vocal training from the music director while building up their repertoire by singing sacred music in the choir. The students will be responsible for attending weekly rehearsals as well as singing with the choir for all Sunday Masses from September to May, and the Masses for Christmas and Easter. (The children’s choir sings once a month and the adult choir sings every week.)

    After two years of successful singing in the choir, those singers can also apply for a paid cantor (or junior cantor) position. Once they are qualified, they will receive private coaching and training from the music director during the summer and throughout the year as needed.

    Deadline for the application is April 15; the application form is available at the parish office.

    The auditions will be held during the week of April 22nd. Each candidate is required to sing two hymns acappella (meaning vocal only) for the auditions.

    For more info, please contact Mia Coyne, music director, at

    Mia Coyne
    Director of Sacred Music

  • Steve QSteve Q
    Posts: 101
    Love the idea. Very exciting indeed. A few questions:

    Where is the money coming from?
    How many scholarships are being offered?
    Will the winners sign an agreement to ensure that they keep their end of the bargain (e.g. show up for rehearsal)?
    May we see your application form? (Just curious.)

    Would love to hear how well received this offer is in your parish. Good luck!
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,470
    Mia, this is a great idea. May God bless you in this endeavour!

    A nearby protestant church gives out scholarships in a competition every year. They announce the competition and in the end give away $150 to the winner and something less to second and third place. The winners must sing at one of their Sunday services following the competition. It is an innovative way to find out who the up and coming singers are in the community.
    Thanked by 1miacoyne
  • Mia, I'm just really happy that you're somewhere you can thrive and actually have a priest's support. God Bless! Looks great.
    Thanked by 2miacoyne CHGiffen
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I recently learned that two altar servers received scholarships last year, so I thought why not for musicians? (I believe The knights of the Columbus offered the money.)

    I suggested it to the pastor, and he liked the idea. I also suggested for a 'collection' for music ministry sometime. This year the money would be probably coming from the parish music budget. If this goes well, I'll look for parishioners to 'Install parish scholarship for vocalists.'

    I'll be giving free private voice lessons to those who are selected over the summer, and the money will be awarded at the end of the year.(May)

    here is the application form.

    Application Form, submitted by April 15, 2013

    Applicant’s Name________________________________

    School_______________________ Grade___________

    Parent/Guardian Name________________________



    Phone Number__________________________________

    Email Address__________________________________

    Hymns for the audition

    Titles 1________________________________________


    Musical Experience

    Have you sung in the choir?___________________ How many years?____________

    Any other music training or experience in musical performances?


    Applicant Signature_____________________________ Date_________________

    Parent (Guardian) Signature______________________ Date_________________

    (I'll also test them to match pitches after they sing hymns at the audition.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Steve Q
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Sue, I'm not sure whether I'm thriving. I can suggest many things, but as you know the final decisions are made by the pastor. So there are struggles and challenges. Obey and pray...
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • This is a great idea- i was thinking along the same lines. i thought of offering music/vocal lessons to local kids at high cost, but with a free scholarship to any child who is also a member in good standing of the choir.
    Thanked by 1miacoyne
  • Mia, Congratulations. I wish you all the best. The Church needs much more of this. You are to be commended. I'll keep you and your program in my prayers.
    Thanked by 1miacoyne
  • Can those of us in another State apply?

    Haha ... just kidding !!!
    Thanked by 1miacoyne
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,066
    This is great, Mia. I was planning on doing this in my previous position, but couldn't get the approval to do it (even though I volunteered to fundraise.) It was borne of a need for the singers in my choir, a desire to help bridge the gap between children's and adult choirs (any attempt at a youth choir would have gotten "co-opted" by distasteful music forces!), and a desire to help families with the crushing cost of Catholic high school tuition.

    One question: are you going to teach them a lot of musicianship? As important as it is to sing well (and I do try to encourage my paid folks to sing healthily, of course), the worst flaw in most singers is their inability to read their part at sight (or at least get the part perfectly in two-three tries). This wouldn't be acceptable among keyboard players and instrumentalists, and is often a "deal-breaker" when hiring singers. If you get them good at solfege, sight-reading, AND production/musicality, you'll be giving them a "gift that keeps on giving"!
    Thanked by 1miacoyne