M. Louise Miller – Paul E. Knox Scholarship

Congratulation Ryan Giraldi – 2023 Winner!

Ryan Giraldi is a junior at the University of North Texas (UNT) pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance, studying with Dr. Jesse Eschbach. Ryan is also informally studying composition at UNT. Hailing from San Antonio, Ryan began organ lessons 4 years ago with Mark Marty, AAGO, Dean of the Alamo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Strangely enough, it wasn’t hymns and church that brought Ryan to the organ, but rather the drama in the overture to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera. What started out as a humble fascination with the instrument quickly spiraled into an obsession. As Ryan’s interest deepened, the organ sound on their Kirkland Signature digital piano was beginning to prove inadequate. After securing weekly lessons and a humble practice instrument in his home, a vintage Allen analog organ, Ryan’s skill began growing alongside his aspirations. Over the past 4 years Ryan has expanded his love beyond the organ, to other aspects of music, and knew a career in the music field was now an incontrovertibly definite. He is now working with Danny Brooke of V.O.C.E instruments, to install and voice Hauptwerk digital organ systems for congregations, small and large, where music and the organ are a cornerstone of worship. Ryan is a proud and active member of the Austin chapter of the AGO.

Previous Winners

Anne Maria Lim
Katherine Jolliff
Hannah Engwall
Nathan Pennington
Elena Baquerizo
Jeremy Paul Jelinek
Alden Wright
David von Behren
Colin MacKnight
Katelyn Emerson
Amanda Mole
Mary Pan
Kevin Neel 
Nicholas Capozzoli
Christopher Howerter
Scott Montgomery
Susan Beisner Powell
Frederick Teardo

$2,500* Award for 2023 (* up to $5,000) – Look for us again in February ‘2024

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 2023 to an undergraduate student pursuing study in fall 2023 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, 2024.  

Click here for the .doc application form and detail instructions (check you Download area for the .doc). Please email lmillerpknoxscholarship@gmail.com the completed form or any other questions. 

*The Greater Bridgeport AGO Chapter is also pleased to inform scholarship applicants that John Polo is also the Program Director of the Greenville SC AGO Chapter (Robert & Nancy) Powell Scholarship. Both scholarships have the same criteria and timeline but submitted separately and have separate judges. This is a unique opportunity to win up to $5,000 in scholarships. That application is available at this link.

John J. Polo
Program Director & Treasurer, M. Louise Miller-Paul E. Knox Scholarship Program

Current Judges – Galen Tate, Dr. Alice CaldwellDr. Stephen Rapp, Dr. Heitor Caballero, Kevin Bailey

Former Judges – K. Bryan Kirk, Dr. Paul Knox (In Memoriam), Dr. John Michniewicz, Rev. Dr. Paul Jacobson