Cultural & Charitable Foundation

Samuel awarded inaugural Eileen Denton Organ Scholarship

SAMUEL Whitehead has been awarded The Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation’s inaugural Eileen Denton Organ Scholarship.

Sam scholarship 350pxThe Most Reverend Bishop Leslie Rogers Tomlinson, Catholic Bishop of Sandhurst, presented the scholarship at the conclusion of the 11am Easter Sunday Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo.  

Samuel, 25, is a talented musician who began playing the piano at the age of seven. For the past seven years he has played the organ as a student of Sandhurst Diocesan Director of Sacred Music Mr John Hogan.
His achievements include playing pieces in organ recitals in Melbourne, most notably at Melbourne Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Scots’ Church. Locally, Mr Whitehead has played for services at the former Golden Square Uniting Church.

He wrote a Toccata for Organ dedicated to John Hogan and a Mass Missa Profunda for choir and organ which Sacred Heart Cathedral Choir has premiered.

Mr Hogan said the scholarship is the first scholarship of its type to be presented in regional Victoria.

Mr Whitehead played the final Organ Voluntary at the end of Easter Sunday Mass, when he performed the Finale from Alexandre Guilmant’s First Organ Sonata, a piece that Eileen Denton often performed.

Eileen Denton’s son, Noel Denton, was present at the Mass and told of his mother’s great love of music and of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, and of the central role these played in her life.

Eileen was the Sacred Heart Cathedral’s organist from 1920-1931 and Choir Director from 1941-1948.

The Denton family has assisted in funding the scholarship and expects to continue this endowment annually.

Photo Caption: Noel Denton congratulates Samuel Whitehead on being awarded the inaugural Eileen Denton Organ Scholarship, with Bishop Leslie Tomlinson and Fr Tony Shallue.