Background, Rules, and Frequently Asked Questions
The Elmer and Louise Menges Scholarship was established as a competition to encourage young musicians to pursue an interest in music. Winners of the competition play a solo at a concert with the Ambler Symphony.
Elmer was born in Bermudian Pennsylvania, a small crossroad community in Adams County, where his parents ran a country store. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Louise was born and raised in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. Elmer and Louise were married in 1929. Their first year of marriage was spent in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. In 1930, they moved to Ambler, and spent the rest of their years there.
Elmer was appointed to the District Attorney’s Office in Montgomery County for several years. From there, he spent the rest of his life working as an attorney. He was a solicitor for Montgomery County and the Horsham Borough and served on the Upper Dublin School Board for many years. He was very active in the Masons, reaching its highest degree. He was also a longtime member of the Ambler Kiwanis Club, serving in many capacities including Governor of the Pennsylvania District. Elmer and Louise were active supporters of the Ambler Symphony.
Louise was very involved in the community life of Ambler. She became active in the Colony Club of Ambler, the Needlework Guild, the Christamathian Class of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Eastern Star, and the Questers study group. In all of these organizations, she volunteered many hours and served in many leadership roles.
Elmer passed away in 1988, after nearly sixty years of practicing law from his office in Ambler. He was helping people with their legal needs from his hospital bed during his final illness. Louise passed away in 1995. They had been married 58 years. They are survived by two children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Their Pennsylvania Dutch work ethic and energy are still remembered by their family and many friends. They would be proud and honored to know that the Ambler Symphony and the talented youth scholarship program they support and sponsor has continued to grow and prosper. Louise began the scholarship program of the symphony, because the youth of her community were very important to her.
Barbara Sjaastad, the daughter of Elmer and Louise Menges, continues the tradition by supporting young musicians with a generous annual gift.
- The competition is open to all serious music students who will not have graduated from high school on or before May 2019.
- Auditions are limited to orchestral instruments, piano or voice.
- Study under a private instructor (letter of recommendation from your instructor is desirable but not mandatory).
- Have not previously been awarded a Menges Scholarship.
- Application implies acceptance of the Scholarship Audition rules and qualifications.
Requirements for Auditions:
- Memorize and play a section of a Concerto, Sonata or study piece of the player’s choice that demonstrates the player’s capabilities to best effect.
- Music for the audition should be presented to the judges at the audition for their information and will be returned at the end of the audition.
- All travel, hotel/lodging, and any of the applicant’s expenses are the responsibility of the applicant.
- Accompanists, if desired, are to be provided by the applicant. There are only two pianos available at St. Asph Church and one is in the audition room. Pianist applicants will have priority on use of the second piano to warm up. Others who wish to practice with a piano accompanist should be aware that there will be limited, if any, piano availability for rehearsal. (Please also note that there is no requirement for use of an accompanist – we really want to hear your talent!)
- Each participant will be allotted a 10 minute limit from introduction to end of the audition.
Notification and Award:
- Applicants will be notified of the Jury’s decisions within three weeks of the audition.
- The Jury reserves the right not to select a winner.
- Applicants named as Menges Recipients will perform with the Ambler Symphony during the 2018-2019 Concert Season.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do I need an accompanist? No. You may bring one if you wish, but it is up to you.
- Do I need to present the judges a copy of the music I am performing? Yes.
- Does the audition require one each of Concerto, Sonata, or study piece? No. The applicant should prepare an audition piece that presents their capabilities and shows all aspects of their performance abilities. Remember – TIME IS LIMITED
- If I am not selected this year, may I apply next year? Yes, as long as you meet the qualifications.
- What is the fee for applying? A fee is not required.
- What is the audition time? Auditions for 2018-2019 will be on June 9, 2018. If you require special time consideration please note and we will try to accommodate.
- Where is the audition? Please note venue change. Auditions will be at St. Asaph Church in Bala Cynwyd.
Due to the interest in this program, time permits only a limited amount of participants. Selection of audition participants will be based on receipt of application as well as applicants qualifications.