Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Dr. James Burchill, organist, gives back to the community that supported him by establishing a Special Award

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust is excited
to announce the new Dr. James Burchill Award!

Dr. James Burchill 

Dr. Burchill states: "I have always been aware of how important study is in preparation for a professional career and, particularly in our day, how very expensive this is. For my own education, I was helped very considerably by years of awards from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, and I am delighted to take my turn in helping future music students achieve their goals."

The Dr. James Burchill Award will be given out for the first time in December 2020. Dr. James Burchill, a former Talent Trust recipient (1958 through 1961) in organ studies, created the award to give back to the community.

The award will be given, if merited, to an organist, choral or instrumental conductor or, if there is no suitable applicant in either of these fields, to a student of another musical instrument or voice. The annual award is $8,000.

Dr. Burchill donated $220,000 in bank stocks to the NSTT Foundation in 2019, with stipulation that the investment income be used annually for the Dr. James Burchill Award of $8,000. The NSTT Foundation was incorporated to hold and invest endowment funds to benefit the Talent Trust in perpetuity.
Tim Matthews, Chair of the NSTT Foundation, told us: "The NSTT Foundation is immensely grateful to Dr. Burchill for this very generous gift. The Endowment will provide sustainable and perpetual financial support for future musicians. This is a great example of "paying it forward," and I hope it inspires others to consider such gifts to ensure the long-term success of the Talent Trust."

Dr. James Burchill is a well known organist in Nova Scotia:
Studies in music theory, organ playing and choral conducting earned James Burchill a doctorate from Eastman and, while a student at the Royal School of Church Music, the FRCO(CHM); these led to a more than fifty-year career as a church musician, including twenty years at All Saints' Cathedral in Halifax, theory teaching at the Conservatories in Hamilton and Halifax, and organ teaching at Mount Allison and Dalhousie Universities. He was also a frequent organ recitalist and accompanist for choral concerts. After ten retirement years often spent in England attending Cathedral daily choral Evensongs, he is now dividing his year between Victoria and Halifax, and his day between reading and walking.

"It was a pleasure to meet Dr. Burchill a few weeks back in person and hear about his achievements and love for the local music community. We're thrilled that we can announce his special award to help our young musicians succeed in their pursuit of a professional career. Thank you, Dr. Burchill!" Jacqueline Steudler, Executive Director, NS Talent Trust.

The impetus for establishing the NSTT Foundation was a generous legacy gift made by the Nova Scotia Coalition on Arts and Culture. They wanted to ensure that their contribution would support the work of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust now and well into the future. The role of the NSTT Foundation is to steward significant resources and make the income available to the NSTT to fund artists in accordance with its mandate. Contributions are eligible for a charitable donation receipt. They may be made as a one-time gift, pledged over time, or a bequest in your will. Since 2012, the Endowment has grown to over $280,000.

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