M. Louise Miller - Paul E. Knox Scholarship

Congratulations David von Behren - 2015 Winner!

A native of Falls City, Nebraska, David von Behren is a sophomore undergraduate studying with Todd Wilson at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  von Behren is a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award on NPR's (National Public Radio) From the Top and has been featured as organist with the CIM orchestra, performing at CIM’s Kulas Hall and Severance Hall.  von Behren is the winner of the 2015 Tuesday Music Association (TMA) Organ Competition in Akron, OH and this year was awarded the prestigious Henry Fusner prize for outstanding achievement in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Organ Department. David was invited to perform and collaborate at the 2015 Cleveland ChamberFest Verve Gala with two-time Grammy winning clarinetist, Franklin Cohen.

Most recently, David was named the winner of the 2015 M. Louise Miller National Organ Scholarship.  Currently, David works as the music intern at Plymouth Church, UCC in Shaker Heights, OH, playing organ for worship services and working with the vocal and handbell choirs.  This summer, von Behren will work with Juilliard organ professor, Paul Jacobs, and perform in recital at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, OR.

David began his organ studies with Tom Trenney and attended the American Guild of Organists Pipe Organ Encounter Advanced programs, week-long studies that have given von Behren the opportunity to perform at major venues and to study organ with some of the nation’s finest organists.  von Behren has recently been inducted into the Harvard Organ Society (HOS) as an honorary member.  Last summer, von Behren joined former Harvard University organist, Christian Lane, on the 2014 Harvard Organ Society Tour to Europe.  While in France, von Behren was featured in masterclasses with Jean-Baptiste Robin at the Royal Chapel in the Palace of Versailles and the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Poitiers in Poitiers.  He played for Frédéric Blanc, a pupil of Maurice Durufle, on the in-house organ at the Durufle apartment in Paris.  In addition, David performed in two masterclasses with Peter Van Dijk on the organs at the Grote Kerk in Alkmaar, Netherlands.

As an accomplished violinist, David studied with the late Margaret Kew.  In February 2013, he made his Carnegie Hall debut performing with the American Honors Performance Series in New York City.  He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and he served as assistant concertmaster in the New York Summer Music Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Also a pianist, David captured first prize in the 2011 Nebraska Federation of Music Clubs Piano Competition in Omaha, NE, was selected as winner of the 2010 New York Summer Music Festival Recital Auditions Competition, and was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2012 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York City.  David currently studies piano with Gerardo Teissionniere at the Cleveland Institute of Music. 

David actively advocates for introducing and exciting younger audiences about classical music.  In 2013, David began “The Little Stars Summer Program,” a music program for 3-6 year old children.  This project has been in association with NPR’s From the Top and The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.  As of June 2015, his music program won a one-year endorsement with the National Federation of Music Clubs.  David enjoys traveling and running half marathons costumed as various superheroes.

From the Chair

Our level of applicants this year was exceptionally high, but the level of musicality David displayed helped him stand out from the crowd. The judges enjoyed David's elegant Bach playing, were wowed by the Dupré, and were refreshed by his solid hymn playing. We also were impressed to hear David's summer music program that he started in his hometown - what a great way to give back to the community! David is well on your way to a successful career in the organ and we encourage him to keep up the good work!  

We wish David much success with his continued studies and organ performances and are looking forward when his schedule permits to have him perform for the Greater Bridgeport Chapter members in a future program.

Jeffrey Wood
2015 Chair, M. Louise Miller Scholarship

Dr. Alice CaldwellDr. Stephen Rapp, JeffreyWood


$2,500 Award for 2016 - M. Louise Miller - Paul E. Knox Scholarship

A scholarship fund was established in 1998 to honor the life and work of Dr. M. Louise Miller (1914 - 2008), a founding member (1948) of the Greater Bridgeport chapter, and to recognize her great achievements in the fields of church music, organ playing and teaching. In 2015, through a generous gift from the estate of Dr. Paul E. Knox (1930-2015), an esteemed colleague of Dr. Miller and outstanding church musician and teacher, the Greater Bridgeport Chapter of the AGO renamed the scholarship and increased the award amount. A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded in June 2016 to an undergraduate student pursuing study in fall 2016 at an American college, conservatory, or university, leading toward a career in organ performance and church music.   The winner will also be invited to play a recital in Connecticut for the AGO.

The application process includes writing a short essay and submitting a recording of two standard organ pieces (Bach and Romantic).  Application deadline is June 1, 2016Click here for the application form and detail instructions, or contact scholarship coordinator Dr. Alice Caldwell, LMillerPKnoxScholarship@gmail.com

Dr. Alice Caldwell
Chair, M. Louise Miller-Paul E. Knox Scholarship

Judges – Dr. Alice CaldwellDr. Stephen Rapp, Dr. Paul Jacobson
Scholarship Treasurer - John J. Polo
Greater Bridgeport AGO
Former Judges - K. Bryan Kirk, Paul Knox, Dr. John Michniewicz, Galen Tate, Jeffery Wood

Previous Winners

Nicholas Capozzoli
Katelyn Emerson
Christopher Howerter
Colin MacKnight
Amanda Mole
Kevin Neel
Scott Montgomery
Mary Pan
Susan Beisner Powell
David von Behren
Frederick Teardo