Nineteen students studying in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts have been awarded scholarships from the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation, one of the most prestigious awards given in the college.
The scholarships are named for Valerie Canady, a Morgantown native and WVU summa cum laude graduate, who was among the 270 people who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988. Canady, who worked for H.J. Heinz Co. in the London office, was an accomplished linguist and artist in different media of expression, especially in piano.
Loulie and William Canady, Valerie’s parents and long-time residents of the Morgantown community, present the awards annually in December. Loulie Canady is a long-time supporter of the WVU School of Music and Dr. William Canady is professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry in the WVU School of Medicine. The Canadys are also the major patrons of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performances at WVU – a series that is named in memory of Valerie.
This year’s Canady scholars include:
Sornsuang Tangsinmonkong, of Thailand, is a doctoral student in piano performance, who won honors in several piano competitions in Bangkok, where she is also a faculty member (currently on leave) at Mahidol University, the largest school of music in Thailand. She has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Chulalongkorn University, also in Bangkok, and a master’s degree in music performance from Mahidol University. She is fluent in Thai and English and has performed at national and international levels, winning some prestigious honors and awards.
Lucia Zung de Andrade, of Brazil, is an undergraduate student in bassoon performance. She had nearly completed a piano degree in Brazil when an injury to her wrist forced her to switch to the bassoon four years ago. Lucia plays in multiple WVU ensembles, including the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Wind Symphony. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish and also taught herself English. She previously studied at the Universidade Tecnologica Federal do Parana in Brazil.
Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin, originally of Taiwan, who also spent several years teaching in Vancouver, is currently in his third year of doctoral study in piano performance. He also holds degrees in other schools in the United States and in Canada. He is fluent in Chinese, French and English. He is one of WVU’s outstanding piano performers and is sought after as a teacher for individual lessons.
Tse Wei Chai, of Malaysia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Malaysia and a Master of Music from WVU. She is fluent in Malay, Chinese and English. She is a very talented pianist and is also sought after as a teacher for individual lessons. She earned her master’s degree at WVU in 2011, after several years of teaching in Singapore.
Juan Carlos Rios Betancur, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. He is fluent in Spanish and English. In addition to his piano studies, he works as an assistant to WVU Piano Technician Tim Richards. Rios Betancur studied for years with Blanca Uribe, a prizewinner in the Van Cliburn Competition and probably the most famous teacher in Colombia. Prior to attending WVU, he was a faculty member and staff accompanist at a major university in Medellin, Colombia.
Youna Choi, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in piano performance. She studied for a master’s degree in Minnesota before coming to WVU. She was the unanimous choice to fill the opera-accompanying assistantship that was vacant at the time of her application to WVU, partly because of her superb audition, and partly because then-opera director Robert Thieme regarded her sight reading to be among the very best he had observed in several decades of teaching. She also studies organ with Dr. William Haller and is fluent in Korean and English.
Bao-Vuong Nguyen, a native of Morgantown, is an undergraduate student in violin performance. He is fluent in Vietnamese, which is his native language, in addition to English. His ultimate career goal is medicine, but he is studying music as an undergraduate while filling his schedule with extra science and pre-med courses. He performs in the WVU Symphony Orchestra where he has quickly become one of the strongest players.
Javier Camacho, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in collaborative piano and is the first recipient of a partial graduate assistantship in choral accompanying. He is an exceptionally strong player, both as a soloist and as a chamber music partner. He had extensive performance experience, both in his native Colombia, and also during his work for a master’s degree at Duquesne University where he studied with artist-in-residence David Wehr. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Tak Chiu Wong, of Hong Kong, is a doctoral student in saxophone performance. He entered WVU with a wealth of professional experience as both a saxophonist and as a teacher. He plays a wide range of styles and has performed in a large number of international venues throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He is a graduate assistant assigned to teaching work in the WVU Saxophone Studio, where he teaches applied lessons to some of the undergraduate student and coaches saxophone quartets. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming.
Diego Gabete-Rodriguez, of Spain, is a doctoral student in violin performance and concertmaster of the WVU Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from Musikene-Centro Superior de Musica del Pais Vasco, Spain, and from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Columbus State University in Georgia. He was a winner of the 2014 WVU Young Artists Competition. He competed as a soloist at the national MTNA competition in Chicago in 2014 after being named the winner in the Eastern Division’s “Young Artist Performance” category. He also competed in the competition as a member of the WVU Graduate String Quartet. Last December he performed a recital in Spain for the Argentinian consulate, and he is now working with several music schools in Spain to form a collaborative partnership with WVU performing faculty.
Sora Lee, of Korea, received WVU’s first Master of Music degree in collaborative piano in 2011 and is currently studying for a doctorate in collaborative piano as the first student to enter this new doctoral program. She has eagerly worked with wind, string, voice and other piano students in the School of Music and continues to develop her collaborative playing experiences with the choir and other ensembles. She is fluent in Korean and English and also studies organ with Dr. William Haller.
Kirill Tyulkov, of Russia, is studying for a master’s degree in music education. He is fluent in Russian, English and French. He holds a master’s degree in French and also a law degree from Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University in Russia and received a degree in music technology from California University in Pennsylvania. He is studying both classical and jazz piano at WVU, with pedagogical work in strings, woodwinds, voice, brass, percussion and conducting, and specialized work in music education in the areas of world music and research. He also teaches in the WVU Community Music Program.
Qian Xu, of Laramie, Wyoming, is a doctoral student in piano performance at WVU. She received a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming and initially applied for a second master’s degree at WVU, but the music faculty encouraged her on the basis of her lovely audition and her completed master’s degree to enter the doctoral program instead. She is a graduate student of international standard and chose WVU so that she could study with Dr. Peter Amstutz.
Dipendra Sunam, of Nepal, is a doctoral student in piano, who completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance at Berea College and Northern Arizona University. He has studied with music professionals from around the world, and was keyboardist with a Nepali pop band named Nepathya, which released several professional recordings and toured throughout Nepal. He is fluent in four languages—Nepali, Hindi, Urdu and English.
Brandon Isaac Brown, of Charleston, West Virginia, is an undergraduate studying for a bachelor’s degree in violin. While only a sophomore, he has become an important member of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, due to his talent, hard work and enthusiasm for classical music. He is fluent in German, a language he is continuing to study at WVU. He intends to use the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship to study music in Germany.
Christy Oscar, a native of Indonesia, is studying for a master’s degree in cello performance. She is also an excellent pianist and often plays accompaniments for other students. She came to WVU from Universiti Pelitas Haripan, near Jakarta, where one of her teachers included WVU School of Music graduates Dr. Mario Santoso and Dr. Tomislav Dimov. In 2012, she attended the InterHarmony Festival held in Hinterzarten, Scwarzwald, Germany. She is fluent in three languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese and English.
Jocelyn Lee Jia Yin, of Malaysia and Singapore, is an undergraduate with a double major in violin and piano performance at WVU, where she excels on both instruments and is unusually gifted academically as well. She won the 2014 WVU Young Artist Competition on piano, playing the first movement of the Beethoven “Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37.” She is fluent in English and Mandarin, including the Cantonese and Hokkien dialects. She also currently studies German and Japanese.
Mirim Lee, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in flute performance and is fluent in three languages—English, Korean and Bulgarian. She was a winner of the 2013 Young Artist Concerto Competition at WVU and plays principal flute in both the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Chamber Winds. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in music at one of the top conservatories in Bulgaria and completed a master’s degree in flute performance at WVU last spring. She placed second at the 2013 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition in New York and was a semi-finalist at the Israeli Haifa International Flute Competition in 2014 and at the 2014 International Intermusica Woodwinds Competition in Austria.
Elizabeth Rose Fitzgerald, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, is pursuing an undergraduate degree in art history with a minor in French. Her language skills and her understanding of French History will make her a leader during the School of Art and Design’s spring 2015 study-travel course to France, where she, along with other art students and faculty, will live in Paris for nine days, taking excursions to Chartres, Troyes and Bourges to study Medieval stained glass in cathedrals, museums and studios. Lizzy plans to use the Valerie Canady Scholarship award for study abroad.
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