Alden Gilchrist Memorial Scholarship



The Alden Gilchrist Memorial Scholarship

In memory of Alden Gilchrist, who worked tirelessly to promote music education in Bay Area schools and whose artistry and leadership have left an enduring legacy in the musical community of our city, the memorial committee at Calvary Presbyterian Church, in partnership with the Friends of SOTA Foundation announce this new scholarship opportunity. The scholarship is open to SOTA Vocal and Instrumental students as a way to provide funding for private instruction in their major instrument to young musicians who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

In keeping with Alden’s pursuit of musical excellence and generosity of spirit, successful applicants will demonstrate not only their commitment to growth and expression in their art, but also some of the personal qualities that made Mr. Gilchrist a pillar of our community. These include:

  • Generosity,
  • Empathy,
  • Kindness,
  • An ability to celebrate the unique qualities in each person,
  • A freely-shared sense of humor that does not degrade others, and
  • A singular focus on how music communicates with and brings people together.


Scholarship recipients will receive:

  • Funding for private lessons for a full school year,
    • This year’s pilot program will be limited to lessons during Spring 2017, with possible extension into the summer months.
  • Performance opportunities at Calvary Presbyterian Church, where Mr. Gilchrist served as Music Director for over 60 years, and
  • Recognition in SOTA Vocal and IM concert programs.

How to apply:

  1. Fill out the application form below.
  2. Get one (1) letter of recommendation (no more than 1 page) from a teacher or other adult in your life who can speak to the following:
  • Commitment to artistic growth
  • Character
  • Substantial need for financial assistance
  1. The application below will be automatically submitted. Please email recommendation to the SOTA Parent Liaison for the Classical Vocal Department here.
  2. Sign up for an audition. Once the above paperwork has been received, you will be invited to sign up for an audition time. Auditions will be held at SOTA on May 26 starting at 10 am.

Audition requirements:

Please prepare a short solo piece (3 min. or less) that shows you at your best.  It should be a piece that demonstrates your artistic excellence as well as your artistic goals, regardless of genre.

  • If you require piano accompaniment, you MUST indicate it when you sign up for your audition time, and you must also submit your repertoire choice and music.

Winners will be selected from the audition pool and will be announced and recognized at the 2017 Vocal/Instrumental Concert in December.