Scholarship Offers & Policies

About the School

The Texas Normal Singing School is a not-for-profit, educational institution. No board members, faculty, or staff receives a salary or remuneration in exchange for the services he/she offers to the church through TNSS. The Singing School is not sponsored or underwritten by any other organization or congregation; it operates under its own Board of Directors and by funds from students’ tuition and donations. Further details about operational and financial transparency, including copies of IRS form 990-PF, upon request.

About the Costs

The standard cost of studying at the Texas Normal Singing School in 2022 is $545. This sum includes your 14 meals (breakfast, lunch, and supper Monday through Thursday; breakfast and lunch on Friday), five nights’ lodging in a furnished apartment, access to leased classroom and chapel space, required event insurance; all textbooks, transportation shuttle services, and all administrative costs (website hosting, printing and postage, display advertising, booth spaces and event registrations, technology and equipment, software, business/banking expenses).

In an effort to make the Singing School as affordable as possible, we’re pleased to announce that supporters of the School have made scholarship funds available to students on an as-needed basis.

We offer three scholarships:

The Joe Ed Furr General Scholarship Fund

This general scholarship offer divides the total cost of Singing School between the three interested parties – the student’s home congregation, the student himself, and the Singing School.

We believe that the home congregation should be excited to invest in her own greatest resource – her members. With this investment will come an expectation, responsibility, charge, and – hopefully – an opportunity for the student to practice and use his new knowledge and skill in the congregational setting (this is essential for a student’s growth and development in the science and art of church music). The student himself should have enough interest in his own spiritual and skills development that he is willing to invest funds, time, and effort into this opportunity. This investment of personal funds promotes an investment of mind, heart, and spirit during the week of Singing School and upon the student’s return. Once the church and student have shown their own intent by partnering for the first two-thirds ($370), we want to show our confidence in our program, curriculum, and faculty and our love for our students and their home congregations by contributing the final one-third.

The Jesse James Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is made possible by those who love the memory of Jesse James, a longtime student of TNSS and dear friend of Joe Ed Furr. To encourage diversity among our student body and to make it easier for those who travel a significant distance to participate in the school, this scholarship is made available for those who come to TNSS from east of the Mississippi River. This scholarship is offered on a needs-based basis and is awarded for up to $250.

Recipients are requested to read Brother James’ obituary and to send acknowledgment notes to members of his family.

The Randy Daw Scholarship

In memory of the late Randy Daw – gospel preacher, hymn writer, musician, Singing School teacher, and friend of Jesus Christ – the Board of Directors has chosen to fund a single full scholarship each year. The student receiving this scholarship offer will be a returning student who has demonstrated not only musical excellence, but depth of spirituality, and a personal desire to dig deeply into the art and science of congregational, a cappella singing.

Recipients are requested to read Brother Daw’s obituary and to send acknowledgment notes to Mrs. Debbie Daw.

To help create positive conversations between a potential student and his local church leadership about the congregation contributing its one-third, we would be happy – once a scholarship offer has been made – to issue a formal certificate of scholarship award to the student along with a letter to the church leadership explaining the process and the program to which the student is applying.

Donating to the Scholarship Funds

In an effort to keep our costs as low as possible, our Scholarship Fund does not receive funding from other students’ tuition and fees; it is funded completely by additional donations. If you or your congregation would like to invest in the future of congregational, a cappella singing, we urge you to consider making a donation to this fund. This is a protected fund, earmarked only for scholarship use.

We thank our donors for their generosity, vision, and love.

Please contact Levi Sisemore, Singing School Treasurer, with any questions about donating to this fund. As a 501(c)3 organization, donations to the TNSS Operating Fund or Scholarship fund are tax-deductible and a receipt will be issued.