The Organ Scholar Program offers emerging organists under the age of 30 the opportunity to experience an annual ten-month internship within a significant music ministry program in the United States. The program model is designed to include combined investments from AGO National Headquarters, a local AGO chapter, and a host church for a total of $30,000. In addition, the host church provides housing and healthcare options for the organ scholar. To reach Jillian Gardner, Chair, Organ Scholar Program, click here.
Organ Scholar Overview for Potential Hosts
Interested in Being a Host Institution/Church? Click Here for the Application and Official Guidelines.
2023-2024 Organ Scholar Job Description
Katherine Johnson is the 2023-2024 Organ Scholar
Katherine Johnson, currently a senior at Oberlin College and Conservatory, will be the next organ scholar in the American Guild of Organists Organ Scholar Program at Duke University Chapel. As an organ scholar, Johnson will play the organ during services in Duke Chapel and at Duke Divinity School, assist with weekly choir rehearsals, and receive regular lessons and coaching in organ playing, accompanying, conducting, composing, and vocal techniques. She begins the ten-month position on August 15.
A double-degree student in English and organ performance at Oberlin, Johnson studies organ with Professor Christa Rakich and also teaches organ lessons at the school. Outside of college, she serves as organist and music director at Church of the Redeemer in Lorain, Ohio. Previously, she has been an organ scholar at Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, North Carolina, and has also been the Wilson Family Sacred Music Intern at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City.
“I am excited and grateful to have this incredible opportunity,” Johnson said. “I am looking forward to making music with the Duke staff and community in the next academic year.
Duke University Chapel Will Host the 2023-2024 Organ Scholar
The vibrant musical and liturgical opportunities at Duke Chapel offer a young musician an unparalleled opportunity to gain experience working with both professional and volunteer singers; to learn from the five world-class organs housed at Duke Chapel and Duke Divinity School; and to live in a community enriched by the presence of Duke University. Combined with our engagement in the liturgy and music of Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopalian traditions, an organ scholar has access to almost any situation they will encounter throughout a career in church music. Since 2015, Duke’s organ scholar program has sought to nurture and equip the next generation of church musicians with practical, hands-on skills as organists and choral directors that are generally not covered in academic degree programs. In partnership with AGO, we will continue to foster a supportive, encouraging educational environment for the successful candidate. We will take the skills they have already cultivated in sacred music and build upon them through immersive exposure to all facets of the music program at Duke Chapel.