FAU’s Department of Music received a $50,000 donation to continue funding for the Georgina Dieter Dennis Vocal Scholarship Fund. This is the sixth year that the College has received this funding, with the scholarship going to students who graduate from a Florida high school and enroll in vocal studies courses in FAU’s Department of Music. The gift was presented by Elias Porras and Ron Schagrin, trustees for this Foundation, which provides a wonderful legacy of music from an accomplished performer to supporting talented young singers.
Dennis, who passed away in 2006, had a storied music career starting at the age of 12 when she won the New York Music Week Association Junior Bronze Medal. She was awarded a scholarship to the Institute of Musical Arts of the Juilliard Foundation and later sang with the National Opera Association. Dennis made her debut at New York’s Town Hall in 1937 and then went on to Canada to sing with the Civic Music Light Opera Company and back to the United States to New York’s Erlanger Theater and the Majestic. Dennis sang in every state in the Union during World War II and presented programs with James Victor’s Band for the USO. Dennis knew she was fortunate to have training and opportunities from an early age. She wanted to provide opportunities for others and so established the Georgina Dieter Dennis Foundation prior to her passing.
“Students in the ‘arts’ have extra financial challenges when in addition to general college expenses they must also incur costs related to their field of study including equipment costs, and lab fees,” said Patti Fleitas, director of vocal studies at FAU. “Also, with performance and ensemble rehearsals, students’ available hours to work are greatly reduced, making the possibility of scholarship funding a defining factor in their college choice. Generous benefactors help students afford college, and help FAU to complete with other universities to attract the best and brightest, bringing a higher level of artistic and cultural excellence to community audiences.”
For more information about FAU’s music program, call 561-297-3810. For more information on ways to support FAU arts students, call 561-297-2337.
Photo (left to right): Elias Porras, Michael Horswell, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, Ron Schagrin and Patti Fleitas.