As some of you may know, UW-Madison this week began its second “Share the Wonderful” fundraising campaign, designed to raise money to support students and faculty.
At the School of Music, gifts to the School in particular and Letters and Science more generally have provided countless opportunities to our most talented and ambitious students, to help them grow personally, academically and succeed in their fields. We welcome your contributions.
Over the next two months, we’ll periodically update this blog with stories of how donations have had an impact. Take note: you’ll be hearing from these School of Music students in future years, we have no doubt, as they advance through their lives and careers.
First up is Jacob Wolbert, a senior majoring in percussion, who was a guest blogger while working as a Summer Music Clinic counselor this past June. Jacob then traveled to Brazil to study and will return again in January. Here is his story:
“I received two fellowships over the 2012-13 academic year. The first one was a FLAS (Foreign Language & Area Studies) fellowship that went towards an intensive Portuguese program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last summer. With the help of FLAS, I was able to study Brazilian Portuguese and culture in a fascinating environment and meet people from around the rest of the United States and the world.
“The other fellowship, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hilldale Fellowship, will be used to fund my fieldwork (again, in Rio de Janeiro) for my senior honors thesis in ethnomusicology. Given that my work relies so much on the personal experience of and my own interactions with Brazilian samba musicians, this fellowship has essentially made my ethnographic work possible and provided me with the opportunity to broaden my research and strengthen my thesis.
“After graduation, I plan to take a few years off from school to work in music, education, and languages. Thanks to these scholarships, I have been able to further my love of Brazilian music, develop a better understanding of the Portuguese language, and connect with people across the university and country that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to connect with. From the summer trip, I will never forget my evenings running down a seaside boulevard in Copacabana with mountains in front of and behind me, the ocean to my left, and the teeming Rio metropolis to my right, the view from each side fitting in with the other three. The best single experience was attending a concert at one of the most famous samba schools, Salgueiro, and singing along with a song I learned as a UW-Madison freshman.”