A chorister at Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside, has become the sixth young singer in the nation to earn the Gold Award of the Royal School of Church Music in America (RSCM-A).
The Gold Award is the highest honor bestowed by the RSCM, which fosters standards of excellence in choral singing around the world. Emmalee Schauf, 16, of Wilkinsburg, has been a part of the Calvary music program since Kindergarten, and has already earned the RSCM’s Bronze and Silver Awards, with Merit.
The Gold Award is given on the basis of a rigorous examination on a whole range of musical skills, as well as liturgical and musical knowledge. Ms. Schauf undertook this exam in August in North Carolina. Her work met the standards of the award program’s international administrators, and she received the award formally on Sunday, September 13, in a service at Calvary.
The RSCM’s awards program was introduced in the United States four years ago, and two Calvary choristers, Ms. Schauf and Alexandra Dixon-Ernst, earned its first two level of recognition in its first two years. Ms. Dixon-Ernst went on to earn the Gold Award in 2008, the first in the country to do so without going to England for the exam. Ms. Schauf took a year off from the exams before deciding to “go for the gold.”
Both singers have taken part in numerous summer choral camps run by the RSCM, as well as her regular participation in the parish’s choral program.
Alan Lewis, Director of Music at Calvary since 1997, said, “It is absolutely thrilling to have these singers earn this distinction. That Alix was the first in the country, and that Emma is the youngest to achieve it to far only makes it sweeter."
More information about the Royal School of Church Music can be found at www.rscmamerica.org.