Why does the Westminster Music Scholarship exist?
The scholarship exists as a way of developing the skills of young people in providing music in the life of their parish and the wider Church, encouraging them to grow in leadership and as people of faith both within a parish and their everyday lives.
Who is it for?
It is for a young person (or a small group of young people) who are already fairly skilled vocally or instrumentally, and who are involved at a reasonable level of commitment in their parish or school.
How will it work?
The young person selected to receive the scholarship will be offered free sessions on a regular basis for a year (three school terms). The sessions will be lead by Joe Wells a Catholic singer songwriter and worship leader. Joe is also part of One Hope Project a music and worship collective that seeks to encourage worship and creativity in the church. Because we receive a range of applications, the details are still to be finalised. But they will be worked out in a way that is convenient for the young person, Joe and the Westminster Youth Ministry team.
What will the sessions involve?
In the early sessions, together with Joe, the young scholars will work out an individual plan for developing their skills, with specific targets. These targets need not be set in stone but will be free to evolve as the sessions continue, tailored to the scholars’ needs and capabilities. Joe can offer help in two main ways: 1) developing confidence and leadership skills; enabling the young person to feel confident in leading and choosing the music for liturgy and times of praise and worship; and 2) any practical skills that the young person would like to grow in, for example how to write or arrange a song, playing and vocal techniques and improvisation.
Where will sessions take place?
The successful young applicants will travel to the Diocese of Westminster’s Vaughan House, in Victoria, for their sessions with Joe.
What are the requirements for applying?
Applicants must be aged 14-25 and should write a short statement which answers the following questions:
- What is your current involvement in church music (where, what, how often and who with)?
- Do you have any other relevant experience (for example, music/grade exams and qualifications, or performance experience outside church contexts)?
- What does being involved in church music mean to you? Why is it important to you?
- Where do you see the need for growth and development in your own skills? How could you become better at what you do?
- Where do you see further opportunities for being involved in making music, in your parish or school?
- What do you hope to get out of the experience if your application is successful?
Applicants must also:
- Include their contact details (email and phone as bare minimum)
- Include a short statement of recommendation from their parish priest/youth group leader/music teacher
- Feel free to include other supporting materials (photos, recordings, links to videos etc)
How will the successful applications be chosen?
A panel made up of Joe Wells and members of the Westminster Youth Ministry team will select young people for the scholarship based on several criteria. Most important will be passion and enthusiasm for making music in church/liturgical settings, a recognition of where improvement is needed, and dedication and commitment to the process. The panel will be able to get a good feel for these things from the applications and statements of recommendation they receive.
The panel will also want to see where real opportunities exist for using the skills the young applicants are developing. Of course, current level of ability and experience will play a part in the decision, as they can’t be separated from who a person is. But this is NOT a talent contest where the most skilled person “wins”. So please be encouraged to apply!
How do I apply?
Please send the statement described above by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Outreach, Waxwell House, 125 Waxwell Lane, Pinner, London, HA5 3EP no later than Thursday 31 October.