January 18, 2023
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In 2016, Buncombe Street UMC presented scholarships to three deserving young men in pursuit of their pipe organ musical education. We are thrilled that the funding was made possible through our endowment funds.
Brendon Johnson’s hometown is Courtenay, British Columbia. He has studied at Bob Jones University since 2009 (B.A., Humanities, 2013; M.A., Bible, 2015; now one year from completing the B.Mus. programme in Church Music). Since 2013 he has been an English faculty assistant at BJU. He began piano lessons at age 7 (completed the Grade 10 Piano certification of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto) and has studied the organ with Dr. Ed Dunbar since 2009. Twice (2013 and 2015) he has travelled with BJU’s Musical Mission Team in Europe, the second time as pianist. His other interests include history and politics.
Noah Vancina began studying music at the age of nine, his first instrument being the violin. He began playing the organ at thirteen and has studied with Mrs. Jodi Shaleen and Dr. Timothy Nelson. Throughout high school, he was the main organist at his church, was involved in the performance of several major oratorios, and held principal positions in his orchestra. Currently, he is a Keyboard Performance major at Bob Jones University, where Dr. Ed Dunbar is his teacher. Besides music, he enjoys reading, linguistics, and hiking.
Kevin Edens serves as Sanctuary Organist at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. He began his service as a church organist at the age of eight, serving Oolenoy Baptist Church, Pickens, SC, before moving to Lee Road United Methodist Church in Taylors, SC, at age 13. Kevin began his keyboard studies at age 5 and has studied under the instruction of Ms. Vera Wright, Dr. Ed Dunbar, Mr. David Turner, Mr. Alessandro Nardi, and Dr. Charles Tompkins.
Kevin was the recipient of the Crescent Music Club’s Shirley K. Reinsmith Organ Scholarship in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He was also a winner of the Columbia AGO Young Organist Competition in 2012. In addition to competitions and church work, Kevin enjoys collaborative musical opportunities and has served as an accompanist for state and regional NATS competitions on multiple occasions. He is a member of four Furman University choral ensembles, all of which he accompanies. Kevin is a 2013 graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Southside High School, Greenville, SC. A rising college senior, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance at Furman University. For the duration of the Fall 2015 semester, Kevin participated in Furman’s Music in Italy program based in Arezzo, Italy. He is fond of traveling and has taken two academic trips to Europe—to Baden-Würtemburg, Germany (2011) and Tuscany, Italy (2015). After his undergraduate studies conclude, Kevin plans to pursue a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance.