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The First Church of Christ, Congregational, Glastonbury Music Scholarship


The First Church of Christ, Congregational in Glastonbury is pleased to offer scholarships of up to $1,000 to student musicians in the First Church family or the Glastonbury community to defray the cost of private lessons. The selection process will focus on an applicant's interest in classical music, especially in music appropriate for a sacred setting. Through these scholarships, the Board of Music seeks to encourage the appreciation and performance of church music through formal education, and to foster church musicians, both professionals and lay volunteers.


The Gift of Music


A large portion of our music scholarship fund is made possible this year through the generous gift of Norma Vaughn, an honorary member of the Board of Music. Her gift honors the memory of her father, Rev. James McBride (1909-1984) and her brother, Howard McBride (1949-2006.) Reverend McBride was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and played clarinet professionally with such luminaries as Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. At the urging of his wife, he became a Baptist minister and served at Hartford’s Central Baptist Church. Music was always dear to his heart and he continued to play clarinet in community symphonies throughout his lifetime and to give private lessons such as those made possible through this scholarship. Talented in music and drama, Norma’s brother, Howard, graduated from UCONN with a degree in theater and went on to sing professionally.


How to Apply


Students currently enrolled in grades 7 through 12 and college undergraduates are eligible to apply. Possible applicants might include; a seventh grade instrumentalist formally studying classical music, a junior or senior high school student taking private voice lessons, or a college undergraduate majoring or minoring in music education or studying to be a church musician or choir director.


Applications are now available in the church office, the choir room, and on our website. Applications and personal statements must be received at the church office by noon on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.


Click here to download application in Microsoft Word to fill out on your computer and email back to us.

Click here for our online application. 

Click here to download and print application to fill out by hand.

Printed applications and personal statements must be sent to the Church Office, addressed to: The Music Scholarship Committee, First Church of Christ, Congregational, 2183 Main Street, Glastonbury, Connecticut 06033, or emailed to


Questions should be directed to the Chair of the Music Scholarship Committee, Bruce Munshower, at


Qualifications · The applicant should be part of the First Church family (membership is not required) or living or studying in the Glastonbury community. If the student is a college undergraduate, his or her family must live in Glastonbury. Preference will be given to applicants belonging to a faith community of any denomination.


  • Applicants must be taking formal instrumental or vocal lessons emphasizing classical music, and must have completed at least two years of lessons in voice or on the instrument they audition with. (Singers under 14 need only one year of voice lessons to quality.)
  • Student motivation is most important in the selection process but financial need will also be considered.
  • Finalists will be scheduled for an audition and interview with the Board of Music and should prepare a 3-5 minute selection.
  • 2016 First Church Music Scholarship award winners are not eligible in 2017. The winning applicant may be invited to perform at a First Church Worship Service. The First Church Board of Music Scholarship subcommittee will review all applications. The winner will be notified in June and scholarship awards will be mailed to his or her music instructor the following September. The scholarship will be awarded at the sole discretion of the Scholarship Committee and will be based upon applicant qualifications.


2016 Scholarship Winners




Each year, the Board of Music offers one or more scholarships to young Glastonbury musicians in an effort to encourage their study of music and to promote and enhance the worship experiences of their generation. In 2016, we received nineteen applications, heard auditions for eleven, and awarded three scholarships to the following recipients.

Prairwaa Madden, who just completed 7th grade at Smith Middle School, has been playing piano for seven years and is currently studying piano at the Hartt School of Music. She has given concerts and participated in festivals and competitions in CT, the US, and abroad. Prairwaa, who also studies violin, is already planning to study music in college, and aspires to be a performer and teacher of others.


David Park, who will be a senior in high school in the fall, has been studying piano for 11 years and plays in his school’s jazz band and orchestra, as well as for worship services at his church. In his playing, he strives to connect with his audience in a way that will bring them joy and hope in their listening. He plans to continue studying piano in pursuit of that goal.


Yerim Lee is a 2016 graduate of Glastonbury High School and is a member of our First Church family, where she has performed on violin in several ensembles during our worship services and Music at the Meetinghouse. She has also been a member of the GHS orchestra, where she was selected to participate in various state, regional and New England music festivals. Yerim has studied violin for seven years and plans to continue her study of violin at New York University, where she will be a freshman in the fall.

These scholarships are funded in part from the budget of the Board of Music and from a generous contribution by one of the members of First Church. Their awards will go directly toward the expense of future private lessons to encourage their continued development as serious musicians of their generation. Each of the recipients will be sharing his or her extraordinary talents with us during the 2016-17 school year, and, after listening to their performances, you will agree that they each possess a gift and musical talent worthy of our encouragement.