The Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is home to the Jolidon Fund, a bequest by Marjorie Jolidon, which supports:
1) Scholarships for organ study
2) Grants for events/projects that prominently feature the organ.
Each year between $10,000-$30,000 is given away to qualifying candidates.
Links to related forms:
JOLIDON ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP
The purpose of this program is to give persons interested in learning to play the organ the opportunity to undertake formal study of the instrument.
Who is eligible?
• Anyone with keyboard proficiency, regardless of age, who has a desire to learn to play and aunderstand the organ is encouraged to apply
• Preference is given to beginning organ students and first-time applicants
How does the program work?
• Prospective students submit an online application
• A Greater Hartford AGO Chapter member must sponsor each applicant
• An instructor must be contacted and included on the application
• Lessons will take place within a six-month period
• Grants are awarded in the amount of $600, paid directly to the instructor
• Upon acceptance and completion of lessons, both instructor and student fill out
• For assistance connecting with potential organ instructors or finding chapter members
to sponsor the application, please contact us at
Where and when are my lessons?
Location of lessons & practice instrument, and duration & frequency of lessons are decided by mutual arrangement between student and instructor.
Are there additional costs?
If the purchase of music and/or organ shoes is required, those costs are paid by the student.
How do I apply?
Return completed form by email or mail to:
Ben Gryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by US mail to 138 Lincoln St. New Britain, CT 06052
Applications may be submitted any time and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Students accepted into the program will receive a one-year membership in The American Guild
of Organists, upon request, which includes a one-year subscription to The American Organist magazine and full access to all local chapter events.
Who was Marjorie Jolidon?
by Christa Rakich
Marjorie Jolidon was the benefactor of what will be a “life changing” (if we can apply that term to an organization) bequest to the Greater Hartford Chapter of the AGO. Since Marge’s active role in the chapter was some years back, we’ve asked chapter members who knew Marge to share their memories. We are grateful to members Nancy Robbins, John Coghill, and Mike Foley for these recollections.
Marge was a lover of good music, the theater, and traveling. She had season tickets every year
to the Hartford Stage, the Goodspeed Opera House, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She was also active in the Musical Club of Hartford, of which she was a past president. Nancy Robbins recalls the beginning of her friendship with Marge, enjoying Marge and her husband Charlie’s hospitality on many occasions when the two women met at Marge’s Hartford south
end home to rehearse organ duets for a program of the Musical Club of Hartford.
Mike Foley met Marge in 1981 while she was organist at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford. Mike then learned that Marge had a 6 rank unit organ in her home that needed a lot of work. Mike was invited to come and take a look. While working on the organ over the course of the next months, Mike got to know Marge and Charlie as warm, hospitable people who always looked forward to his visits, which were as much about friendship as they were about organ service.
John Coghill and Marge were colleagues while both were teaching in the Bloomfield Schools. Marge was a music teacher and John in the classroom. He remembers that she was a “big force.” One time, John and Marge together directed a Gilbert & Sullivan performance by the fifth and sixth grades, and he remembers that Marge nearly tore her hair out dealing with the kids. The audience filled the room and the students did a wonderful job. Marge had a short fuse, which meant she got after the kids.
Marge also loved animals, often trapping stray cats in her neighborhood with a humane trap, taking them to her vet, and keeping them for pets. All three contributors to this piece mentioned the cats and excited, yapping dogs present at every visit.
Marge and Charlie owned a very nice beach cottage in Cornfield Point, Old Saybrook. They spent years renovating it with their own sweat equity when they were younger, turning it into a year-round home. In addition to her pipe organ and grand piano in Hartford, she had an electronic organ and an upright piano side by side in Old Saybrook. On one of her many visits to Old Saybrook, Nancy Robbins recalls how Marge told her of the fun times she used to have when the church choir members would go there, many of whom would remain overnight sleeping all over the house. She and Charlie had planned to retire there, but his death changed their plans. Marge did, however, eventually sell their Hartford home and stayed in Old Saybrook until she died.
We have a portrait of a warm, generous, and hospitable woman who was devoted to her husband, her pets, and to good music and the arts. While it was clear she had the means to
meet her needs, she lived a modest life. Her legacy continues, and has been entrusted to us and others. In addition to the Greater Hartford Chapter AGO, the other beneficiaries of her $2.5 million estate were the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, The Goodspeed Opera House, and the Musical Club of Hartford.
For more information about the fund or the subcommittee, please contact us at:
Jolidon Committee Members
David Garrido Cid, chair
Michelle Horsley, secretary and board liaison