Agnes Giesbrecht Scholarship

Agnes Margaret (Braun) Giesbrecht was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the third of 11 children of Jacob J. and Sara Braun. Her parents were of the German-Russian Mennonite background, having left Russia in the mid 1920s. Agnes was born 2 months after her parents’ arrival in Canada.

Agnes acquired some of the best of that surrogate, antecedent Slavic soul, namely her love for and expertise in various needlecraft arts, highlighted by her particular skills in “tatting”. In addition, she developed a love of singing by way of her rich, but not dominating, alto voice. Agnes originally developed her voice in her high school years in Gretna, MB. She continued her choral pursuits in various mixed and ladies’ church and community choirs.

She married John B. Giesbrecht of Vineland, Ontario in 1949 and shared a love of music with him and their son and three daughters. She nurtured her own and her family’s faith in this setting and in the Vineland United Mennonite Church.

During her high school years, Agnes had developed a close friendship with Professor Helen Martens, who became the first head of the Music Department at Grebel. These connections, as well as their children’s attendance at the College and a grandson’s affiliation with the Chapel Choir there, make this award a “natural fit” for a modest memorial of Agnes’ life and musical interests. May the harmonies giving rise to this family effort ring on in the forms loved by the person in whose memory it is established.


About the Award

The Giesbrecht Scholarship Fund supports and promotes choral music and training among students enrolled in the Music Programme at Conrad Grebel University College and pursuing studies at the University of Waterloo.

The award is given to:

  • Students who have a strong academic record, are actively involved in the Music Programme, possess excellent vocal skills, and demonstrate a keen interest in choral music, including the Russian Mennonite choral music tradition
  • A member of the Chapel Choir who will serve as assistant to the Director of the Chapel Choir during the tenure of the award, normally being one academic year

Amount: One award of approx. $1,000.