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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.


New applications will be available in the church office, the choir room, and on our website in 2018. Applications and personal statements must be received at the church office by the deadline.


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.
  • 2017 First Church Music Scholarship award winners are not eligible in 2018. 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.


2017 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 2017, we received eleven applications, heard auditions for nine, and awarded four scholarships to the following recipients.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 them will be sharing their extraordinary talents with us in a worship service at some time in the coming year. When you experience that, we are sure you will agree that they each possess a gift and musical talent that is worthy of our encouragement.


Sofia DiNatale (top photo, right), who just completed 10th grade at Glastonbury High School, auditioned on piano, which she has been studying for seven years, and also studies cello. In addition to being in the Jazz Band and Chamber Ensemble at GHS, she is a member of the Glastonbury Youth Orchestra and Connecticut Youth Symphony. She has given concerts and participated in festivals and competitions in Connecticut, as well as performed at Carnegie Hall. Sofia intends to continue her music studies in college and hopes to attend a music conservatory.


Teryn Kuzma (second photo) is a student at the University of Connecticut with a double major in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science and Music, with a concentration in Vocal Performance. She hopes to combine the two in a career. Teryn has been a regular performer in her church and school choirs and has received her Performance Certificate from the Hartt School of Music. Teryn also plays the 55-string Ukrainian bandura, and is a founding member of the newly formed Women’s Bandura Ensemble of North America.


Alex Richter (top photo, center) just completed his sophomore year at GHS and a is a member of our First Church family, where he has already performed on cello in string ensembles, including at the open house event last winter. Alex has been studying cello since age nine and is taking lessons with a private teacher as well as at school. Last summer, and again this year, Alex participated in the Elm City Chamber Festival. He has been a member of the New England Music Festival orchestra and a winner of the American Protege Contest, which resulted in an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall last year during the Christmas season.


Mai Vestergaard (top photo, left) is a Glastonbury resident who attends the University of Connecticut. In addition to her music studies at UConn, Mai studies with a private teacher in New Haven. She auditioned on violin, and also studies viola. She has performed as a soloist with the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, as well as participated in Eastern Honors and All-National Symphony Orchestras. This summer she is studying Chamber Music in Austria at AlpenKammerMusic. Mai has a double-major at UConn in Music and Pharmaceutical Sciences.