Academic journal article The Hymn

Priming the Research Pump

Academic journal article The Hymn

Priming the Research Pump

Article excerpt

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has a regular annual budget that handles the ongoing, everyday work of the society. We pay for things like our staff, our conferences, and this journal out of the money that comes from memberships, conference fees, advertising, the book service profits, a portion of the growth in our investment funds, hymn royalties, and other sources.

Beyond the annual budget, we also have various restricted funds, which are tied to specific gifts, and can only be used for certain purposes. Two of these funds are designed to support the growth of The Hymn Society by reaching out to students. Each year, the Lovelace Scholarship Fund provides support for a number of students who wish to attend the summer Hymn Society conferences, and the George Black Scholarship Fund offers one year memberships in the Society to selected Canadian students. Both have been going for a number of years, and both have helped the Society reach out to and bring in promising new members over the years.

A third fund, however, is just beginning to makes its presence felt in the work of The Hymn Society. The McElrath-Eskew Research Fund was created to provide modest grants to support the work of researchers of congregational song. Unlike the Lovelace and George Black funds, these grants are open to both beginning researchers and also to those who have been at that task for quite some time. The fund is named in honor of Harry Eskew and Hugh T. McElrath* - two Fellows of the Hymn Society noted for their contributions in the area of hymnological research.

For several years, the original gifts that created the fund have been allowed to grow untouched. Now we are at the point that grants may be provided without touching the principal-the goal of any ongoing fund like this. All that is needed are some scholars to step forward to apply for these grants.

At this point, the Executive Committee is prepared to award research grants up to $500. That is not a huge amount, but then again, $500 could certainly help a lot of books, articles, and other research get off the ground. The grant could be used to help fund travel to a distant library, provide money for a research assistant, or any number of other things.

As an Executive Committee, we are open to considering all kinds of proposals. …

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