Friday, October 05, 2007

Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund
Vestavia Hills Baptist Church

For the remainder of the 2007-2008 academic year, awards will be made in the amount of $1500.


The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established for the following purposes:

* To provide a nurturing church home for student musicians who attend the colleges in the Birmingham area;
* To provide a musical environment for these students in which they can be growing musicians;
* To provide scholarship assistance for these students.


The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee will seek to name a group of “Shepherd Scholars” for each academic year. The criteria for selection will be:

* a student must be a professing Christian;
* a student must be a competent choral singer, as judged by audition with the Minister of Music;
* a student must fit into the profile of current needs of the Sanctuary Choir, i.e. a need for singers of a certain voice part, as opposed to a surplus of singers in another voice part.
* a student must present a letter of recommendation from a significant mentor, i.e. a professor, a student minister, a pastor;
* a student must demonstrate the ability to be responsible and punctual; (This can be addressed in the letter of recommendation, or through the presentation of material such as a transcript of outstanding grades, or a statement from an employer.)
* a student must demonstrate through an oral interview a desire to be a participant in the church family of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. It is the hope of the Scholarship Committee that students will have a positive experience at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church which leads them to desire to be affiliated with the church through membership or joint membership with their home church. Since church membership is a choice that should be made based upon a variety of experiences and factors, it is not considered to be a qualification for the scholarship award.


The amount and number of scholarship awards will be determined each academic year by the scholarship committee. They will result from the amount of the proceeds at the annual Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Concert, conducted each spring by the Music Ministry, in addition to any additional funds made available through donation or interest accrual.

Awards will be dispersed after each semester of participation in the Sanctuary Choir. The award will be dispersed directly to the student’s account at the college. In the case of graduating seniors, arrangements will be made on an individual basis to be certain the award reaches the student.

Scholarship awards are understood to be offered for one year. While it is the desire of the committee to develop long-lasting relationships with the Shepherd Scholars, awards must be determined by the amount of funds available and the personnel needs of the choir. Each recipient must re-apply for subsequent years, however positive experience as a Shepherd Scholar will be considered when new awards are being determined.

Expectations of the Students

Shepherd Scholars will be viewed as musical leaders within Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. They will be expected to fulfill that role in their activity and behavior. They will also represent the name and legacy of Dr. Betty Sue Shepherd, and seek to exemplify the ideals presented in her musical and spiritual life: musical and intellectual excellence, spiritual commitment, and generous stewardship of her musical gifts.

It will be understood that Shepherd Scholars will act as responsible members of the Sanctuary Choir. While an excellent attendance record at rehearsals and services is expected, it is also expected that these students will occasionally go home on weekends and school breaks, participate in tours of their college ensembles, or have conflicts on Wednesdays. They should let the Minister of Music know of their absences in advance as much as is possible. There will be certain times during which special concerts and events take place. These will be announced far in advance, and Shepherd Scholars should understand that their attendance is required. Participation is expected during the two semesters of the regular school year. While students would be welcomed during the summer term, no scholarship funds will be awarded for participation during the summer.

As musical leaders, each Shepherd Scholar should look for other ways of contributing musically, i.e. solo singing, adult ensemble, helping in children’s or youth choirs, ringing in the handbell choir.

It is also understood that these students are participating in the broader congregation. They should look for other means of participation, i.e. Sunday School, student fellowships or Bible studies.

Expectations of the Church

Students should expect to participate in a church environment that is rewarding spiritually, intellectually, musically and socially.

Students should expect the church to act as a “home away from home,” nurturing them and demonstrating concern for them.

Amount of Award

For the remainder of the 2007-2008 academic year, awards will be made in the amount of $1500. They will be dispersed in two equal amounts at the end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester.


Students who are interested in applying for the Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship should assemble their letter of recommendation and any accompanying material, and make an appointment for an interview and audition by contacting:

Terre Johnson, Ph.D.
Minister of Music
Vestavia Hills Baptist Church
2600 Vestavia Drive
Birmingham, AL 35216

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