The purpose is to assist in raising funds to be used to enhance the music of the church service, and to provide funding to minority students who are enrolled in a college or university pursuing study and training in voice or piano through the James T. Townsend Scholarship Fund.
The James T. Townsend Scholarship Fund was established in 1974. In 1994 the Music Committee was blessed with the donation of a second scholarship award for piano, given in memory of Sidney DeKnight by his wife and daughter.
The Music Committee also presents Spring and Fall concerts of talented individuals or college choirs, and the proceeds are used to provide second place scholarships as well.
The Music Committee meets on the second Sunday of the month after service.
Who may join? Anyone interested in the planning and execution of interesting and exciting events.
The James T. Townsend Vocal Scholarship Award
The vocal scholarship is named in honor of James T. Townsend, former organist and Choirmaster of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Mr. Townsend served in this capacity for more than fifty-seven years and was the moving force in the implementation of the College Concert Series which provides funds for this award.
The Scholarship is awarded annually to an African American student under age of 25 who is pursuing studies and training in voice at an accredited college or university, or with a master teacher affiliated with an accredited school of music. Applicants must be in good academic standing. The winner of the vocal auditions held at the church in May of each year is awarded two thousand dollars.
The Sidney DeKnight Piano Scholarship Award
The piano scholarship is given in honor of the late Sidney DeKnight by his widow Jacqueline and Daughter Sylvia. Mr. Deknight, who received a degree in music from Bluefield State College, West Virginia, was a special education teacher in the Philadelphia School System. He was also an accomplished pianist.
The DeKnight family, members of St. Thomas Church, are music lovers who felt that sponsoring an additional Scholarship Award in conjunction with the Music Committee's outreach program would be a fitting memorial to Mr. DeKnight.
The Scholarship is awarded to an African American student pursuing studies and training in piano at an accredited college or university. The winner of the piano auditions held at the church in May of each year is awarded two thousand dollars.
Scholarship Announcement Flyer | Scholarship Application Cover Letter | Scholarship Application