Choral Scholars Program

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Choral Scholars Program


Zion Choral Scholars Program – Next Year!

Due to the success of the Zion Choral Scholars Program, the music ministry and Chancel Choir would like to offer the program again next year. Church Council has approved the continuation of the program. This program is funded by donations only. At this time, we are looking for monetary contributions for the scholarship program for the next school year, whether it is a small donation, paying for one semester, paying for a full year, or setting up a yearly memorial scholarship. Each student receives an $800.00 scholarship per semester, which is directly deposited into their students accounts, which goes toward their music education. We would like to have five Choral Scholars again for next year, if possible.
In this program, students learn about Lutheran church music, through application, by:
  • The practice of cantoring during worship services
  • singing in large and small ensembles
  • helping lead the congregation in song
  • singing sacred vocal solos fitting to the season and/or message
The benefits of the program:
  • Open our doors to the university music community
  • Give opportunities to music students to sharpen their own musical skills during worship in a safe and welcoming environment
  • The choir and congregation would serve as a community for the students.
  • Students will learn through participation and musical application about Lutheran worship.
  • Having students in each section weekly helps balance voices for choral anthems, and assists those within the section who may miss a week of practice or who need extra assistance.
  • Having choral scholars will diversify our worship experience.
If you would like to contribute to the Choral Scholar Program, please fill out the blue sheet (found in the church office and Welcome Center) and submit it with your contribution to either the church office during the week, or the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Downs (


2016-2017 Choral Scholars (From Left to Right): Claire Agresta  (Eastern Michigan University), Collin Price (Eastern Michigan University),
Aurora Haziri (University of Michigan), Tanner Hoertz (University of Michigan),
and Mahari Conston (University of Michigan)

The Choral Scholars Program is a scholarship program open to university students studying vocal music.

Choral Scholars sing with the Chancel Choir, cantor at First Light and Sola worship services, and provide special music on occasion.

Meet Our Choral Scholars!

Claire Agresta (Soprano II Choral Scholar) has a BM in Voice Performance from Bowling Green State University, studied at Manhattan School of Music, and is working on her MM in voice at Eastern Michigan University. Claire has sung Suzanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Ynoild inPelléas et Mélisande and Fredrika in A Little Night Music. She has appeared as a soloist at Interlochen. She has sung with The Toledo Symphony Orchestra and The Detroit Concert Choir.

Mahari Conston (Soprano I Choral Scholar) is an operatic soprano who recently received her Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mahari is frequently sought after to perform at events across the Carolinas. Her “pure and effortless singing” has been positively received by journals such as Classical Voice of North Carolina. Most recently, Mahari performed Handel’s Messiah as the soprano soloist with University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She also starred as Cinderella in Pauline Viardot’s adaptation of the operetta with the University of North Carolina Opera Theatre. Mahari is currently studying to receive her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan.

Aurora Haziri (Alto Choral Scholar) is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying vocal performance, under the direction of Caroline Helton, and a minor in German. She is a native Michigander, hailing from the city of Royal Oak. She is very excited to be part of the Zion Choral Scholars program!

Tanner Hoertz (Bass Choral Scholar) is a first year master’s in voice student at the University of Michigan. He is a proud alumni of the University of Kentucky where he received his Bachelor’s in Music degree just last year. Tanner has sung several operatic roles including Bob from The Old Maid and Thief, Melchior from Amahl and the Night Visitors as well as his most recent credit as Alidoro in Rossini’s adaptation of the classic Cinderella story. In addition to his operatic accomplishments and aspirations, Tanner also loves to dabble in the Music Theatre and the American Negro Spiritual repertoire. Tanner is very happy be able to call Zion Lutheran Church his home and looks forward to a great year of music at Zion.

Collin Price (Tenor Choral Scholar) is a masters student from New York State studying Voice Performance and Choral Conducting at Eastern Michigan University. Collin has previously acquired a bachelors of Music Education from Houghton College in NY, and has experience teaching grades 3-12. Collin has served as musical director for numerous shows including The Sound of Music and The Drowsy Chaperone and guest conducted in multiple concerts. After his masters, Collin intends to pursue a DMA in choral conducting at an undetermined institution.

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