Research Grants and Prizes

The American Bach Society is pleased to offer several different grants and prizes. The William H. Scheide Research Grants are primarily for doctoral candidates, junior faculty, and independent scholars; the William H. Scheide Prize recognizes excellence in publication; the Frances Alford Brokaw Grant is aimed at undergraduate students. As of 2021, two new awards are available: the ABS Diversity Grant (open to all) and a stipend toward German-language study aimed at doctoral students. Please see individual descriptions below.

We seek to expand recognition of good work in the field of Bach studies by encouraging applications from those pursuing non-traditional topics and from new voices in the field. Please share your passion for Bach research with us!

William H. Scheide Research Grants

The William H. Scheide Research Grants, stipends ordinarily ranging from $500 to $2,000, awarded annually, provide support for research projects on Bach or figures in his circle. The funds may be used to defray travel costs, acquire reproductions of primary sources, or for similar purposes. Although preference will be given to applications from Ph.D. candidates, junior faculty, and independent scholars, senior faculty are also encouraged to apply, especially when institutional research support is limited or unavailable. Awards will normally go to citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada. Each winner will also receive a one-year membership in the Society.

Applications should include a research proposal of no more than three double-spaced pages, along with a curriculum vitae and a budget, all in English. The committee will favor proposals that include concrete statements of (1) the materials to be consulted (specific scores, books, instruments, etc.) if research in libraries or archives is proposed, and why it is necessary to examine them on-site; (2) a clear itinerary if travel is involved; and (3) the nature of the ultimate outcome of the research (book, article, edition, etc.).

Grants will be awarded for research to be completed during the academic year 2021-2022. To apply, please send a description of your research project and a budget by July 1, 2021, to the ABS Vice President at vicepresident@americanbachsociety.org. Decisions will be announced by August 2021.

The William H. Scheide Grant and Prize were established in 1990 by an endowment fund given by William H. Scheide (1914–2014). It honors in perpetuity one of the founding members of the ABS and its first major benefactor.

Previous winners:

2018 Derek Stauff for research into the political context for the Lutheran biblical motet and sacred concerto during the Thirty-Years’ War, and Geoffrey Burgess for research into the confluence of botany and music in eighteenth-century Germany.
2017 Matthew Hall to assist the completion of his dissertation, which explores the early manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipzig apprentices as a window into Bach’s compositional pedagogy.
2016 Michael Eisenberg for his research on “Virtuosity in Transmission: Engraving in the Opus of J. S. Bach and His Circle.”
2015 Daniel Boomhower for his work on the transmission of Bach’s music in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; and Julia Dokter for a study on “Codified Tempo Changes in German Baroque Organ Music.”
2014 Rebecca Cypess for a study of the music in Sara Levy’s salon; and Evan P. Cortens for his work on “Networks of Musical Exchange in Eighteenth-Century Germany.”
2013 Moira Hill for a study of the parody and pasticcio techniques in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s passions; and Nik Taylor for research on Georg Philipp Telemann’s printed church cantatas.
2011 Mark Peters, research on the Magnificat cantatas of Bach and his contemporaries; and Markus Rathey, research on the musical sources and cultural contexts for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248.
2009 No grant awarded.
2007 John Koster, research on a harpsichord at Colonial Williamsburg; and Russell Stinson, research at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna
2005 James A. Brokaw, II and Russell T. Stinson, “Brahms reading Bach: Brahms’ Annotations to the Organ and Harpsichord Works in His Library”
2003 Tanya Kevorkian, “Religious Practices and Society in Leipzig, 1650–1750”; Jason Grant, “Concert oratorios by Georg Philipp Telemann”; Raymond Erickson, “Source-Critical Studies in American Bach Sources”; Russell Stinson, “The Reception of Bach’s Organ Works.”
2000 David Schulenberg, “A Study of the Development of Bach’s Weimar Compositional Style in the Context of Repertory Associated with Dresden.”
1998 Stephen Crist, “Originality and Convention in the Arias of J. S. Bach.”
1996 Melvin Unger, “The ‘Theologia Crucis’ in J. S. Bach’s Cantatas.”
1992 Russell Stinson, “Bach the Teacher: A Study of his Pupils and Pedagogical Methods.”

William H. Scheide Prize

The William H. Scheide Prize, a sum of $1,000 to be awarded biennially, honors a publication of exceptional merit on Bach or figures in his circle by a scholar in the early stages of his or her career (normally no more than ten years after the Ph.D.) who is professionally active in North America. Eligible publications include books, articles, or editions that have appeared in the previous two calendar years. Nominations, which may be submitted by any member of the Society, should include the name of the author along with a complete bibliographic citation. Each winner will also receive a two-year membership in the Society.

Update for 2021: Ordinarily, the Scheide Prize is awarded only in even-numbered years. Due to the disruptions of COVID-19, we will be accepting Scheide Prize nominations for publications that appeared from 2018–2020 (a full three years instead of two) in order to allow fair consideration to those works appearing in the interim. Nominations for this round are due by July 1, 2021 and should be sent to the ABS Vice President at vicepresident@americanbachsociety.org. Self-nominations are welcome.

Previous winners:

2018 Moira Leanne Hill. “Der Sänger Johann Andreas Hoffmann als Notenkopist C. P. E. Bachs.” Bach-Jahrbuch 102 (2016).
2016 Carolyn Carrier-McClimon. “Hearing the ‘Töne eines Passionsliedes’ in J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio: The Nineteenth-Century Critical Reception of BWV 248.” Bach: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute 45, no. 2 (2014).

Bettina Varwig. “Beware the Lamb: Staging Bach’s Passions.” Twentieth-Century Music 11, no. 2 (2014): 245–74.
2014 No prize awarded.
2012 Jason Grant. “Die Herkunft des Chors ‘Triumph! Triumph! Des Herrn Gesalbter sieget’ aus dem Oratorium Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu von C. P. E. Bach.” Bach-Jahrbuch 97 (2011): 273–86.
2010 Steven Zohn. Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann’s Instrumental Works. Oxford University Press, 2008.
2008 Tanya Kevorkian. Baroque Piety: Religion, Society, and Music in Leipzig, 1650–1750. Ashgate, 2007.
2006 Mark Peters. “A Reconsideration of Bach's Role as Text Redactor in the Ziegler Cantatas.” Bach 36 (2005).

Andrew Talle. “Nürnberg, Darmstadt, Köthen — Neuerkenntnisse zur Bach-Überlieferung in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts.” Bach-Jahrbuch 89 (2003).
2004 Matthew Dirst. “Doing missionary work: Dwight’s Journal of Music and the American Bach awakening.” In Stephen A. Crist, ed., Bach Perspectives 5.
2002 Paul M. Walker. Theories of fugue from the age of Josquin to the age of Bach. University of Rochester Press, 2000.
2000 Daniel R. Melamed and Reginald L. Sanders. “Zum Text und Kontext der ‘Keiser’ Markuspassion.” Bach-Jahrbuch 85 (1999): 35–50.
1998 Peter Wollny. “Neue Bach-Funde.” Bach-Jahrbuch 83 (1997): 7–50.
1996 Michael Marissen. The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Princeton University Press, 1995.
1994 Jeanne Swack. “On the Origins of the ‘Sonate auf Concertenart.’” Journal of the American Musicological Society 46 (1993): 369–414.
1992 John Butt. Bach Interpretation: Articulation Marks in Primary Sources of J. S. Bach. Cambridge University Press, 1990.

The Frances Alford Brokaw Grant

The Frances Alford Brokaw Grant of $750.00 is awarded annually to an undergraduate student to provide support for research at the Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH, on projects relating to Bach or figures in his circle. The award is for a period of residence of one or more weeks to use the RBI’s resources. The RBI collection comprises over 30,000 items, including Bach-oriented manuscripts, books, archival materials, and scores, among other rare items.

Undergraduates of any nationality studying at colleges, universities, and conservatories in the United States and Canada are eligible to apply for the grant (students at Baldwin Wallace University are not eligible but can apply for a similar program at the RBI). Each winner will receive a one-year membership in the American Bach Society in addition to the $750.00 award.

Applications should include a statement of interest no more than two pages in length, a CV, and a letter of reference from an established musicologist/music theorist, most often a faculty member at the student's home institution.

Grants will be awarded for research to be completed during the summer of 2022 (COVID conditions permitting). To apply, please send materials by October 1, 2021, to the ABS Vice President at vicepresident@americanbachsociety.org. References should be sent under separate cover. We hope to announce awards in late Fall 2021.

Previous winners:

2020 Megan McLaughlin
2019 Alyssa Yoshitake
2018 Grace Pechianu

American Bach Society Diversity Grant

The American Bach Society invites proposals for a grant or grants of up to $2,000 for scholarly or creative projects that expand diversity in the study or performance of J. S. Bach and his music. Projects might include scholarly work that explores diversity in the history, teaching, or performance of Bach’s music; support of work by a scholar whose own identity adds diversity to the voices writing about Bach; support for a performer whose identity adds diversity to the presentation of Bach’s music; support for an organization whose work diversifies audiences for Bach’s music; or support for other academic or creative approaches to Bach and diversity. “Diversity” can be along any axis—race, gender, ethnicity, ability, identity, or any other in which a project can make a contribution.

Grants will be available to those living or working in North America; preference will be given to applicants in the earlier stages of their careers, but all are welcome to apply. To apply, please send 1) a one-page project proposal that identifies the product of the work, explains how the work will add diversity, and outlines a schedule; 2) a budget; 3) and a CV. Send this material by e-mail with pdf attachment(s) to vicepresident@americanbachsociety.org by July 1, 2021.

Language Study Grant

This grant supports Ph.D. students studying at universities in the US or Canada who require language training to pursue their Bach-related scholarship (e.g., through the Middlebury Language Schools, the Goethe Institute in the US or Germany, or a comparable institution). Training in reading German script may also be supported, for example through the German Script Course at the Moravian Archives.

Applicants should send a letter of intent (outlining plans for the doctoral dissertation and the need for language training), a proposed budget, a curriculum vitae, a letter of support from a faculty advisor, and relevant information about the language training institution and course. If need-based or merit-based financial aid is available from a student’s home university or from the language training institution, applicants to the ABS fund are expected to demonstrate that they have applied for these funds as well. In such cases, the Language Training Fund can supplement other sources of financial aid.

Students may apply for tuition support as well as funding to cover ancillary costs (e.g., travel, housing, etc.). The overall award for a single application is not to exceed $6,000.

Awards are made on a rolling basis until the year’s funds are depleted.

Please send application materials as PDFs to vicepresident@americanbachsociety.org.