AGO Awards Six Scholarships Totaling $60,000 for Collegiate Organ Study

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has awarded four scholarships for undergraduate organ study and two scholarships for graduate organ study to six college organ students enrolled in the 2014–2015 academic year. The six scholars were selected from an application pool of more than 50 students and received the awards based upon their demonstrated ability in organ playing and financial need. The bequest is the largest in the history of the AGO.

Funded through a generous bequest from the estate of Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee, each undergraduate scholarship carries a cash award of $7,500 and is renewable for up to four years of collegiate study. Each graduate scholarship carries a cash award of $15,000 and is renewable for a total of two years of study. The 2014–2015 Scholarship Award recipients are:

Graduate Students
Chelsea Barton, McGill University
Jacob Taylor, Indiana University

Undergraduate Students
Clara Gerdes, Curtis Institute of Music
Garrett Law, Cleveland Institute of Music
Prince Nyatanga, Eastman School of Music
Mary Pan, University of Hartford

The American Guild of Organists is the only organization of its kind with a scholarship program supporting music students in their academic careers at any institution of higher learning of their choice. Applications for the 2014–2015 scholarship awards were received and reviewed by the AGO National Committee on Continuing Professional Education.

“This scholarship program exists thanks to the generosity and vision of two gentlemen who bequeathed their estate to the AGO, along with specific instructions as to how the funds are to be distributed,” stated Frederick Hohman, director of the scholarship committee. “Their wish was for the AGO to recognize and support young organists with financial need who have demonstrated accomplishment in organ playing.”

Speaking on behalf of Messrs. Pogorzelski and Yankee, Dale J. Marsico noted, “Accordingto my uncles, the heart is reached easier through the use of organ music than any other musical form. Their music collection, music room, pipe organ, and Ron’s playing ability were testimony to their love of the instrument. Their gift is a testament to their hopes that future generations might come to enjoy—to love and appreciate organ music as they did. They felt that their bequest to the American Guild of Organists offered the best opportunity for that possibility.”

Two new Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Memorial Scholarships will be awarded for the 2015–2016 academic year—one for an incoming freshman ($7,500), the other for a first-year graduate organ student ($15,000). Click for eligibility requirements and application details. The online application period will run from January 1 through February 15, 2015.