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Scholarships and Competitions

Minnie McNeil Carr Scholarship Competition

We are pleased to announce that the Minnie McNeil Carr Organ Award Competition for high school students, sponsored by the Birmingham Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. We hope you will share this information with students who meet the qualifications and encourage them to enter the competition.

Competition guidelines, application forms, etc. can be downloaded here for your convenience. The 2019 Minnie McNeil Carr Organ Award Competition Guidelines has complete information about the annual scholarship competition, including age limits, repertoire requirements, application deadline, and registration fee. Please read everything carefully. The Minnie McNeil Carr Application Form must be completed and submitted with the non-refundable entrance fee postmarked no later than March 23, 2019.

Contestants or their teachers should contact Dr. Jeff McLelland, Director of Music and Fine Arts at Independent Presbyterian, at to arrange practice times. A maximum of three hours is allowed for each contestant. Independent Presbyterian is located at 3100 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205. The church phone is (205) 933-1830.

For more information, please contact Mr. Sam Burke via e-mail to or (205) 493-0329.

Warren Hutton Pipe Organ Encounter Scholarship

The Birmingham Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is pleased to continue the Warren Hutton Pipe Organ Encounter Scholarship. This annual scholarship is in memory of Warren Hutton, Professor of Organ at the University of Alabama for more than 40 years. Mr. Hutton was also active in the AGO, serving as a past Dean of the Birmingham Chapter, our Regional Councillor, and holder of several positions on the National Council. Mr. Hutton passed away in July 2002 while attending the AGO National Convention in Philadelphia. This scholarship is applied to the tuition to an AGO-sponsored Pipe Organ Encounter or Pipe Organ Encounter Advanced.

Eligibility: The Warren Hutton POE Scholarship will be made available to qualified students who apply to and are accepted by any POE or POEA sponsored by the AGO. (To attend a POE, basic keyboard proficiency is required but previous organ study is not necessary.) Applicants ages 13-18 must be residents of one of the states comprising the Southeast region and have the support of an AGO Chapter in the Southeast region.

Criteria for awarding the scholarship: In making the award, the Competition and Scholarship Committee of the Birmingham Chapter will consider recommendations from the applicant's keyboard teacher and the Dean of the AGO Chapter that supports the application, as well as a personal statement from the applicant describing his or her interest in the organ.

Application: The Application form may be downloaded here. Applications must be received by April 25, 2019. Scholarship recipients will be notified by May 10 and must confirm their acceptance of the award by May 20, 2019. For more information, please contact Mr. Sam Burke via e-mail to or (205) 493-0329.