The Charles Witmer King’s College RSCM America Scholarship offers one or two awards each year for the purpose of assisting choristers in need of financial help to attend this summer course. Each award given will be in an amount up to a maximum of $250.00.
Charles Witmer – tenor, choral conductor, and life-long church musician – was a beloved friend and chorister in the King’s College Course community, along with his son, Christopher, and wife, Miriam. Charlie died of cancer in 2012, but not before establishing this scholarship fund for the King’s College Course. We are thankful for his life, his gift, and his words, which we’ve copied below:
“What struck me about King’s Course in my first year was how utterly organized it was. It was military precision schedule, but always enacted with humor and accomplishment. I also come away with so much positive energy to begin a new liturgical year of church music making. I find myself nourished in so many ways – there is no other place on earth that I want to be that one week during the summer. Now what does it do for the children and youth? They get stimulated by guest conductors, challenging music, come out better singers than they come into the week, they can eat pizza almost every meal all week if they want, they make lasting friendships with other church choir singers their age. I have watched the children come back as teens and teens come back as college students (maybe as a dorm proctor) and college students come back as young adults. If a course has children starting at 10 years old and that 10 year old continues to keep coming back even when they are an adult – that’s an institution that is very successful and in my mind should be supported. Tuition is rising, some families and churches cannot afford to send their talented singers. I therefore have asked that my Memorial Gifts be designated to the Charles Witmer King’s College RSCMA course Scholarship Fund.”
Application should be made by sending a letter or e-mail requesting consideration for an award, written by a parent or legal guardian of the applicant, to King’s College Course Manager. It is to be understood by an applicant for this award that he or she has exhausted all possible local avenues of assistance before applying for one of these scholarships. The reasons for seeking the award should be noted in the letter. The application letter should include details of any previous RSCM America summer courses the applicant may have attended, including the year(s) of attendance. It is also expected that included with this letter will be a short, 2 or 3 paragraph composition, written by the applicant, detailing his or her experience at a previous RSCM America summer course; or, if this is to be his or her first course, how membership in a choir – including the use of RSCM music and/or training – has impacted his or her life. Accompanying this letter should be a letter of support from a priest or minister of the applicant’s home church, and/or from his or her choir director. This letter should include information pertaining to the unavailability of local support for the chorister, and also include information about the chorister’s behavior, musicianship, and participation in the local choir.
The deadline for an application is March 30. Awards will be made around April 15, as a credit to the chorister’s account (no cash awards).