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VPA announces establishment of Billy Joel Fellowships
VPA announces establishment of Billy Joel FellowshipsSeptember 19, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has received a $320,000 gift from popular recording artist and entertainer Billy Joel as part of his long-term commitment to music education and his recently launched music education initiative, which provides gifts of seed money, musical scholarships and endowments to East Coast colleges.
VPA will use the money to establish Billy Joel Fellowships in Composition in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music. The gift will support four graduate fellowships in composition, providing full tuition and a stipend. The fellowships offer a two-year course of study and will be awarded to a total of four graduates over a four-year time period.
“The Billy Joel Fellowships are an incredible addition to the Setnor School of Music,” says Carole Brzozowski, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Because of Mr. Joel’s strong commitment to the arts and arts education, we will be able to give student composers even more opportunities to grow as artists and make an impact on the world.”
The Billy Joel Fellowships will allow students of exceptional promise, who plan to dedicate themselves to a career in composition, the opportunity to study at the graduate level with world-renowned faculty. Through numerous performance and recording opportunities, as well as interaction with visiting artists and participation in special master classes, the fellows will thrive in an environment that fosters individual creative growth.
New music is an important part of the Setnor School. As vital members of this learning environment, composition students meet weekly to discuss current issues and learn from guest composers, in addition to having numerous opportunities to attend master classes. They also have comprehensive and substantive ensembles available for reading and performing, and all Setnor students are required to play works written in their own lifetime. The Billy Joel Fellows will not only benefit from these resources and experiences, but will enhance them.
“The faculty and students of the Setnor School are honored to be the recipients of these fellowships,” says Bradley Ethington, director of the Setnor School. “This generous gift will provide a wonderful opportunity for students to study with our outstanding composition faculty, as well as guest composers from around the world. We look forward to a productive collaboration with Mr. Joel as we embark on this exciting project.”
In addition to SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Joel has made grants to six other institutions: the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York University, The Juilliard School, State University of New York at Purchase, New England Conservatory and Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Academy for Advanced Musical Study. Each institution will use the money for different needs.
Having sold more than 100 million records over the past quarter century, Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. A longtime advocate for music education, he has held master classes on college campuses across the country and around the world for more than 20 years. In addition to six Grammy Awards, Joel has earned three Awards for Cable Excellence, numerous ASCAP and BMI awards and the 1994 Billboard Century Award. Joel has long encouraged collaboration among the performing arts as well as advancement of crossover learning and performance among various genres of music. In 2003, he received a Tony award for his orchestrations for the Broadway hit musical “Movin’ Out,” a collaboration with choreographer Twyla Tharp. Among his other honors, Joel holds honorary degrees from Fairfield University, Berklee College of Music, Hofstra University and Southampton College.