2023 Scholarship Information

Description of Aiken Singers Music Scholarship

Aiken Singers is proud to announce applications are currently being taken for the 2023 Music Scholarship.  The scholarship was established in December, 2010, by the Aiken Singers Board, and is intended to benefit high school seniors living in Aiken County, South Carolina, who are current students of a local vocal or performance teacher, and who are committed to the study of vocal or instrumental studies at the college level. Seniors of public schools, private schools, or home-school programs are eligible to apply.  The amount of the scholarship may vary from year to year based on available funds.  The 2023 scholarship award is $2,000.

The Scholarship Committee will engage three neutral professional vocal and performance judges to select winners based upon a combination of the applicant’s high school marks, talent and recommendations from music teachers, school representatives and other professionals.  Evidence of “giving back” to the community will also play a role in the decision. Students singing in a community choir, church choir, participating in Iocal musicals, playing in local groups or performing with a local orchestra or band, will be given special consideration.  High school teachers and local community vocal and performance instructors may wish to encourage their most talented students to apply for this scholarship.

The complete application packet’s deadline for submission is Sunday, April 30, 2023.  In addition to the documents, applicants are required to submit a video audition of two selections from their vocal or performance repertoire.  If vocal, at least one of the selections must be sung in English.  The Scholarship Committee members will choose finalists based on the applications received. The finalists will have an “in person” audition with the professional judges and committee members on Saturday, May 20, 2023. That audition will determine the winner of the scholarship.  The scholarship will be awarded mid-June, 2023.

The scholarship is renewable for one year for $1,000 based on available funds.    For renewal, the student must show evidence of maintaining a minimum “B” average in his/her first year of academic studies, as well as evidence that they will continue to major or minor in vocal or performance studies in their second year.  Also required for renewal is a written communication from a teacher or director of a local group in the area where the applicant is studying that shows evidence of the student’s support of vocal or instrumental music in that community.

Applicants for the 2023 Aiken Singers Music Scholarship should save THE APPLICATION FORM to their computer, complete and submit it, along with the supporting documentation and the performance video, as specified on the application, by Sunday, April 30, 2023. 

Announcing New Artistic Director

The Aiken Singers have selected a new Music and Artistic Director to lead their musical organization. The selection of Mr. Josh Edwards was chosen from a group of local choral leaders with experience in conducting adult choral groups to replace their founding artistic director, Diane Haslam.

Josh has a Bachelor of Music degree from Carson-Newman College in Tennessee and a master’s degree from Anderson University. He presently serves as Worship and Administrative Pastor at Hillview Baptist Church in Graniteville. While he has had extensive choral directing experience at several churches, he has also applied his piano accompanying skills at the Fort Gordon Dinner Theater for the Augusta Players and other local musical productions. “It is an honor and a privilege to be the next Artistic Director of the Aiken Singers. My desire is to build upon the solid foundation of singing already put in place. I’m looking forward to many wonderful seasons ahead.“

2019 Scholarship Winners

Aiken Singers Announces the Winners of the 2019 Diane Haslam Vocal Music Scholarships

The Aiken Singers is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 vocal music scholarships. The winner of the $1500 Diane Haslam Vocal Performance Scholarship is Caroline Visbisky.

Miss Visbisky studied voice with Diane Haslam for the past four years and sang with Belles Cantos for several semesters. She was the winner of the Aiken Singer’s music camp scholarship in 2018 and used that scholarship to attend the Musical Theater Camp at Charleston Southern University. For the past three years, she has been a member of Midland Valley High School’s mixed Honors Choir and the Women’s Honor Choir. She also attended American Choral Directors Association Honors Choir weekend for the past two years performing at Southern Wesleyan University in 2017 and College of Charleston in 2018. Caroline will use her scholarship to study vocal performance at Anderson University.

Kyah Bodiford was the winner of the 2018 Diane Haslam Vocal Performance Scholarship and has had her scholarship renewed for 2019 in the amount of $1000. Last year Kyah used her 2018 scholarship to study voice at USCA under professor Florence Hechtel. In addition to her studies at USCA, Kyah has performed as a featured soloist at St Mary’s Church in Aiken, and has participated in other performance occasions in Augusta, and Columbia. In 2016 Kyah was the winner of the Aiken Singer’s summer camp scholarship which she used to attend a Furman University vocal summer camp.

Aiken Singers established the Diane Haslam Vocal Music Scholarship in 2010 as a vocal performance scholarship for graduating senior high school students studying in local high schools. In 2016 an additional scholarship, known as the Summer Music Camp Scholarship was added to the program to encourage local junior high school students to explore vocal music as a possible career choice. Since 2010 the Aiken Singers has awarded seven vocal performance scholarships and two summer music camp awards.

Caroline Visbisky [center] winner of the 2019 Diane Haslam Vocal Performance award pictured with Aiken Singer’s music director Diane Haslam [right] and Jim Pierce Chairman of Aiken Singer’s scholarship committee

Kyah Bodiford performs at the Aiken Singer’s Friends & Family concert May 28th, 2019 where she was presented with the renewal of her 2018 Diane Haslam Vocal Performance Scholarship award for 2019.