Choral Scholar Program

The Choral Scholar Program is was first instituted by Director of Music and Organist Kevin Simons in 2006.  Its original purpose was to support the work of the choir in worship and liturgy but has since expanded its ministry to include working with youth choirs and cantering.  The program operates in two directions. The church benefits from the musical skills and expertise of the scholars and the church helps them to develop better their choral background.  The scholars also learn many soft skills such as working with volunteer singers, appropriate literature for a church choir and building community.

Current Scholars

Clarie Barckholtz

Claire Barckholtz, Soprano I Claire, a graduate of the Voice/Keyboard program at the Saginaw Arts and Science Academy, is attending Saginaw Valley State University as a voice major this year. She is also an active member of the Saginaw Choral Society. This is Claire’s third year as a choral scholar.

Tyler Morse

Tyler Morse, tenor Tyler joined the Choral Scholar Program in early 2015. In addition to his activities within the church, Tyler is working to complete his Bachelor’s in Music Education at Saginaw Valley State University, where he sings in both of the university choirs. He also is a member of the Saginaw Choral Society. Tyler studies voice with Dr. Simons.

David Horwath

David Horwath, bass New to the Choral Scholar program this year, David is a music student at Saginaw Valley State University, a member of the Saginaw Choral Society, and a graduate of the Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy.


See how choral scholars connect in the community…

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Jeremiah Kraniak | Choral Scholar

Jeremiah Kraniak, Saginaw resident, and former St. John’s Choral Scholar is spending part of his summer in Oxford, England as a Conducting Fellow in the Choral Music Institute at Oxford. This program is a collaboration between the Westminster Choir College of Rider University and St. Stephen’s House, a permanent private hall of the University of Oxford.

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Choral Scholars 2014

…as featured in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan’s annual publication “The Feast.”

Recently, I had a conversation with the St. John’s Choral Scholars.  The premise was simple.  Tell us about yourself, how you influence St. John’s and how the people of St. John’s influence you.   From breaking dishes to baptisms I think you’ll be surprised at the range of the impact.  And how the choral scholar ministry supports everyonewho worships here, not just the choir.  The interview is long but stick with it!  There were five of us talking after all!

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Choral Scholar Alumni

LTR: Bradly Fergin, Jeremiah Kraniak, Ric Roberts, Tami Snyder-Knutson, Caleb Knutson, Kevin Simons, Rachelle Austin-FerginBLOG POST: An Unofficial Homec

A few weeks ago, the choir and subsequently the 10:30 congregation had an unofficial homecoming of choral scholars.  Three of our scholars, Jeremiah Kraniak (current scholar), Tami Snyder-Knutson (former scholar) and Rachelle Austin (former scholar) were featured soloists at the season opening concert of the Saginaw Choral Society.  That all three of them had a portion of their musical formation occur at St. John’s would have, of course, been enough to brag about.  But the story doesn’t end there.  Also in attendance at the concert that night were former scholars Caleb Knutson and Brad Fergin, there to support their partners.  After an evening of celebrating, congratulating and reuniting with friends, these five scholars did what we all hoped they would and returned to the church they have in common for a great Sunday sing with the choir.

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  • 2017: Claire Barchholtz, Heather Seaton, Tyler Morse, David Horwath
  • 2016: Claire Barckholtz, Heather Seaton, Wesley Fleisher, Tyler Morse
  • 2015:  Claire Barckholtz, Emerald Joiner, Jeremiah Kraniak, Bradley Fergin
  • 2014: Amanda Perkins, Emerald Joiner, Jeremiah Kraniak, Keven Washburn
  • 2013: Amanda Perkins, Emerald Joiner, Jeremiah Kraniak, Kurt Dickson
  • 2012: Rachelle Austin, Emerald Joiner, Jeremiah Kraniak, Bradley Fergin
  • 2011: Rachelle Austin, Jeremiah Kraniak, Donavon Tear, Bradley Fergin
  • 2010: Tami Snyder-Knutson, Rachelle Austin, Caleb Knutson, Donavon Tear
  • 2009: Tami Snyder-Knutson, Marcus C. Roll, Caleb Knutson
  • 2008: Tami Snyder-Knutson, Marcus C. Roll, Jeremy P. Myers
  • 2007: Tami Snyder-Knutson, Marcus C. Roll, Jeremy P. Myers
  • 2006: Megan K. Reid, Marcus C. Roll, Jeremy P. Myers