The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco Church Music Federation Ministry is pleased to once again offer eight (8) FRANK DESBY and XENIA ANTON DESBY MEMORIAL CHURCH MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS of up to $500 each for qualified Metropolis church musicians in 2022. Applications are now available online.

As parishes continue to move forward in the renewal of their church music programs, our goal is to assist church musicians who wish to strengthen their musical skill and understanding by obtaining education and training in singing, chanting, and conducting with qualified professional instructors in order that they may continue to serve their Greek Orthodox parishes..

Our 2021 scholarship recipients shared some of the specific benefits of their studies with their highly qualified instructors:

  • The most useful takeaway from my course was learning to maintain consistent rhythm. Using an appropriate tempo for an heirmologic score, a Theotokion, or a Doxasticon, and adhering strictly to it gives a feeling of sharpness. Unless this rhythm is strictly followed, the congregation will recognize a hymn as “choppy.” The Festal Menaion course enhanced my execution of rhythm in Vespers and Divine Liturgy services at both the parishes where I chant.
  • My studies have helped me tremendously in a practical sense also. I have been able to join my church’s choir and chant along with the head chanters. The classes have helped me learn to read and sing quite a bit better than I used to. The courses have also opened up my eyes to the wealth of dogmatic theology that the church has placed within her hymnography. This has helped me to be able to present excerpts of this theology to the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at my University.
  • I was able to quickly implement a number of very fundamental changes with (my instructor’s) guidance that have improved my singing, including warm up exercises, thinking specifically about the shape of vowels, how and where to breathe in music, posture, etc. She was able to explain clearly how these exercises would be particularly helpful and what they were ultimately trying to help me to accomplish. We also spent time working on pieces in the Orthodox music repertoire that were upcoming in the schedule of services or were of interest to me. Her knowledge of the services of the Orthodox Church and in particular the specific structure and notation of the music lent to our being able to explore pieces in detail.

Applications will be accepted from April 1, 2022 with a deadline of August 1, 2022. Guidelines and Application Forms are available on our ministry website. For more information, please contact: