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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship awarded in the IU Jacobs School of Music

March 25, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The inaugural Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship was awarded to Indiana University Jacobs School of Music soprano Sharon Harms, a graduate student of Professor Carol Vaness.

The fellowship was presented March 2 following an evening concert at Meadowood Retirement Community in which six finalists performed and presented their works. The award is given to a Jacobs School graduate student to assist with full-time study.

"What a wonderful group of students we had in the concert," said Professor Mary Ann Hart, chair of the Jacobs School's Voice Department and coordinator of the judging panel. "In addition to their accomplished singing, it was easy to see their lively musical intelligence in their introductory comments. Their obvious camaraderie and collegiality spoke volumes about their generous spirits. The entire evening was a lovely tribute to Georgina Joshi's life and work."

Sharon Harms with Yatish Joshi, Georgina Joshi's father.

Print-Quality Photo

"I am truly in shock," said Harms. "The enormity of this prestigious award is starting to sink in for me; I have a huge legacy to live up to. The Joshi Foundation has granted me not only a very generous gift but a dream of pursuing my deep love for the arts and for people. I am honored to be able to represent the Joshi Family and Indiana University in this way."

"It was Sharon's night to shine," said Hart. "Her Barber Nuvoletta was brilliantly characterized, and Come Scoglio a dramatic barn-burner! She is a fearless singer and approaches even the most difficult music with enthusiasm. The Joshi IU Fellowship will give her time and support to realize her musical dreams. I'm so happy for her, and grateful to the Joshi Foundation for making it all possible."

The fellowship provides for tuition, fees, books, supplies, living and local travel expenses, as well as other costs related to studying and living in Bloomington. This includes participating in cultural experiences, private coaching, travel and related expenses of auditioning and other activities that would lead to the successful beginning of a professional singing career.

"Of course, I must thank the foundation, Mr. Joshi and the Joshi Family, Mary Ann Hart, Alan Bennett, William Jon Gray, Carol Vaness, Carmen Helena Téllez and the many colleagues and professors who have given me opportunities to express myself through my thoughts and ideas here at IU," said Harms. "The prospect of continuing the work I've started and the ability to audition for companies and young artist programs is thrilling. This is something that has been out of reach but will now be possible. I hope to make the foundation and the university community proud of what I can accomplish."

Both the Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship and the Georgina Joshi International Fellowship, given to a graduating Jacobs School of Music student for two years of study in the Artist Diploma Program at the Royal College of Music (RCM) International Opera School at the RCM, London, are the result of a recent $1 million gift from The Georgina Joshi Foundation, Inc. to the Jacobs School. The gift established these two major fellowships as a tribute to the memory of Joshi, a graduate student at Jacobs and an alumna of the RCM. The fellowships celebrate her life as a singer and her affiliation with both institutions.

About Georgina Joshi

A native of Indiana, Georgina Joshi received her bachelor's degree in music (with honors) from the Royal College of Music, London, where she studied with Eiddwen Harrhy. At the time of her death, she was pursuing a master's degree in music in voice at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Alan Bennett. While at IU, Joshi appeared as a soloist in Haydn's Creation, Handel's Solomon, Bach's B-Minor Mass, the Mozart Requiem and the Brahms Deutsches Requiem. She also appeared in IU Opera Theater productions as Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte. An enthusiastic performer, she collaborated with other musicians, such as the Catacoustic Consort and The Bath Street Studio and was a member of the Jacobs School's ProArte Choir and the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale. Outside the U.S., she appeared as a soloist in England, Wales, Romania and Greece.