Nancy Schaeffer Moore photo cropped



Nancy Schaeffer Moore

Scholarship Fund



Born during the Great Depression, Nancy Brown Schaeffer’s family could ill afford food and clothing much less piano lessons; yet it was important to them that Nancy have lessons so they worked out a barter system with her piano teacher. Coupled by the constant encouragement and love she received from her parents and her beloved grandmother Angelina Kay Evans, she grew to be inspired by church hymns and playing the music of composers like Chopin, Khachaturian, Rachmaninoff, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Nancy showed her determination at the age of 13 by getting a job at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Port Carbon, PA. However, she had to commute taking two different buses to get to the church. She would practice her organ pedal technique while waiting for and riding the bus. Nancy was a church organist from the age of 12 to the age of 88.


While raising six children, Nancy finished her college education from Beaver College (now Acadia University) in Glenside, PA with a BA in Music, then taught in the Trenton, NJ area. Nancy also became one of the first female pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She served as a minister at Bethany Lutheran Church in Belleville, NJ for a total of 31 years until her retirement at the age of 84.


As an organist and pianist Nancy was a phenomenal accompanist. She was a grounding partner to every soloist and performer she worked with, fully supporting them, covering for lost notes, missed measures, flawed conducting. She performed with numerous choirs, many of which she co-founded with husband Bill. One such chorus, the Chorus of Communities, continues to perform in the Belleville, NJ area. Nancy has also worked as a piano accompanist to many fine musicians including Rod McWhorter and William Cole who became Metropolitan Opera singers. 


She continues to play the piano, and has been providing the world with 80 years of beautiful music. In addition to her musical accomplishments, she has always been generous of spirit, kind of heart, and exceedingly humble. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets.



Support the Fund

In honor of Nancy Schaeffer Moore's lifetime love of music, this fund will support an annual scholarship for a promising female piano student with financial need at Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts' Performing Arts School in Berkeley Heights, NJ.

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