Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Auburn, AL) and Dr. Matthew Hoch receive inaugural Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award
The Association of Anglican Musicians is pleased to award the inaugural Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Auburn, Alabama, and their choirmaster and minister of music, Dr. Matthew Hoch. Intended as a resource for small- and mid-sized congregations in the Episcopal Church, the Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award is an annual grant which demonstrates the value of continuing education as a means of enlivening worship and deepening Christian understanding through music.
In addition to attending the Annual Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians, Dr. Hoch plans to use the award to continue his work in the certification program of the American Guild of Organists, studying organ with AAM mentor, Dr. Jeannie Kienzle, Principal Parish Musician at All Saints Episcopal Church, Mobile, Alabama. He writes, “I am honored to receive the first Brittenback-Meezen Presidential Award from the Association of Anglican Musicians. I know this funding will provide professional development opportunities for me that will enrich worship at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. I am grateful to the donor for this generous investment into the parishes of AAM members.” The Rev’d Bob Blackwell, Rector of Holy Trinity adds, “We are very grateful for the Brittenback-Meezan Award which will help Dr. Hoch continue his work with the organ. We know this will aid in continuing the high standards for worship which we hold at Holy Trinity, and be to the glory of God.”
This annual award is made possible by W. Michael Brittenback, in honor of his late husband, Bill Meezan. Michael writes, “I wanted to honor Bill for his unwavering support of me that allowed me, in midlife, to become a full-time Organist/Choirmaster. He encouraged me to give lessons to help musicians who were committed to learning how to play the organ for their small congregations, only asking them for what they could afford. This award is my way of thanking him for this.”
Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award
Intended as a resource for small- and mid-sized congregations in the Episcopal Church, the Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award is an annual $3,000 grant which demonstrates the value of continuing education as a means of enlivening worship and deepening Christian understanding through music. To that end, the grantee parish will commit an additional $1,000 to this award, for a total annual grant of $4,000.
Episcopal parishes with limited resources are encouraged to apply on behalf of their staff musician. Applications from rectors, in consultation with their church’s musician, will be accepted by AAM’s President who, under the advisement of its elected Board, will match the musician with a mentor from among its membership. That mentor will work with the musician on skills necessary for leading worship in the Episcopal Church, and will be responsible for reporting to the board how the funds are used.
This program is intended to aid a musician who is inexperienced as an Episcopal church musician in developing the skills required to more successfully lead programs and worship that fully live into the Anglican tradition, including a deeper understanding of Episcopal liturgy, service playing on the organ, and training a choir to lead worship. Funds can be used for:
- organ lessons with an AAM member and/or
- choral conducting coaching with an AAM member and/or
- the costs of attending AAM’s annual Conference.
If the awarded musician is not already a member, the grant includes a one-year AAM Affiliate Membership. Please email AAM President, Kyle Ritter, with any questions regarding your application or eligibility.
- Applications will be accepted beginning on January 1, 2024.
- Applications must be submitted by March 15, 2024.
- Grantee will be notified by April 15, 2024.
- The grantee must agree to submit a written report within one year of receiving funds.
This annual award is made possible by current AAM member, W. Michael Brittenback, in honor of his late husband, Bill Meezan.