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BG Falcon Media

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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Pro Musica provides travel funding for music students

Music students looking to take trips or compete in international competitions can get help deferring the cost through Pro Musica.

Through two programs, grants and scholarships, students wishing to compete at higher levels can receive aid for domestic and international travel. The money is donated by friends of the University and pays for students to travel to competitions and conferences.

Pro Musica President Ramona Cormier said it allows students to compete and take master classes in an effort to broaden the experience that they otherwise couldn’t get in Bowling Green.

Students have traveled to Greece, Ghana, Austria and Belgium with Pro Musica awards of $500 for travel abroad and $350 for domestic travel.

While there’s no criteria that a student must meet to be considered for a grant or scholarship, the student must be an undergraduate and enrolled in a Baccalaureate program.

Cormier wants to increase the endowment to cover more scholarships. Funding comes from membership fees and gifts.

In her two years as president of Pro Musica, Cormier has witnessed students compete at the highest level.

“We have a student that has been admitted to a program in France. It’s the center for the study in saxophone,” Cormier said.

Students are fortunate to meet master teachers and other students, but they are also exposed to other cultures as well.

“In Italy, they experience the art of Florence. The city is a phenomenon itself, you get a completely different kind of experience there,” Cormier said.

Students get exposed to language, food, art and customs that are not their own, she said.

Pro Musica gives students the opportunity to raise their standard and compare themselves to students all around the world.

“I think it is important to see how they rank with other students, and you get to do this when you travel and perform,” Cormier said.

Richard Kennell, dean of the College of Musical Arts, agrees that it gives students a broadening perspective. He has seen many student winners at national conferences.

“All the students are winners because they are prepared to compete at that level,” Kennell said.

Kennell wants to promote membership by increasing contributions, which are allocated to students.

Students who are interested in receiving money through Pro Musica need to talk to their professor and fill out an application form. A board critiques the proposal and makes their decision.

According to Kennell, Pro Musica gives opportunities for students to challenge themselves in ways that they couldn’t do otherwise.

Kisma Jordan, a second-year graduate assistant, received aid from Pro Musica when she took part in a two-day competition in Akron. Although Jordan didn’t hear about Pro Musica until her second semester, she applied in the fall of 2005 and received help in paying for an accompanist and travel expenses.

According to Jordan, the problem is coming up with the money to travel up front, but Pro Musica helped her to participate in an audition tour.

“Most times, people use it [Pro Musica] for conferences, auditions or competitions and traveling to other states and other regions,” Jordan said. “You have the opportunity to take yourself out of your counterparts and out of Bowling Green.”

Jordan prepares for fall regional opera companies who do auditions for the next year. She auditioned with the Pittsburgh Opera Center.

“To have the resource of Pro Musica was a lot more helpful than investing out and never getting anything back,” Jordan said.

According to Jordan, the feedback from the Pittsburgh Opera was positive and encouraged her to keep on. It allowed her to be focused and rest assured that she could be her best for her audition.

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