Wyoming Arts Council

Dec. 12 deadline for WAC performing arts fellowships in music performance

The Wyoming Arts Council invites Wyomingites involved in music performance to compete for the 2009 Performing Arts Fellowships.

Postmark deadline is Dec. 12, 2008. The WAC welcomes applications from Wyoming residents 18 or older who are not full-time students pursuing high school, college or university art-related degrees.

The WAC will award up to two fellowships of $3,000 each to honor the most exciting, creative work by Wyoming instrumentalists and vocalists. Two jurors from Arizona, vocalist/musician Ruth Lara Vichules and guitarist/composer Brad Richter, will choose the winners.

The agency’s fellowships are on a four-year rotation schedule among music composition; theatre and dance performance; music performance; and theatre direction, dance choreography and design for the stage.

Fellowship applications will be mailed by the end of October to those on the WAC performing arts mailing lists. You can find a printable application in the WAC web site at https://wyoarts.state.wy.us/IndArtist/Performing.asp. If you need further information, contact Michael Shay at the WAC in Cheyenne at 307-777-5234 or mshay@state.wy.us.

Here’s some background information on the jurors:

Ruth Lara Vichules is a vocalist, musician, and educator from Phoenix. Ruth was sung to sleep by her Mother with German and Hebrew children’s songs, Carter Family and Woody Guthrie ballads. After Suzuki violin in elementary school, guitar, saxophone and Aebersold jazz camps in high school, Ruth went on to receive university degrees in music and art. Visiting Guadalajara, México in the early 1980s, Ruth was overwhelmed by the beauty and depth of Latin American folk music. She moved to Tlacotalpan, Veracuz, land of Agustín Lara & Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and scoured the countryside for traditional music. She received a master’s degree in the process, conducting an ethnographic collection of children’s verse from oral traditions. Fascinated by the use of improvisation in Mexican folk music and verse, Ruth studied son jarocho — a tradition from southern Veracruz that is highly improvisatory — with Gilberto Gutiérrez and the legendary group Mono Blanco. Go to her web site at www.ruthlaravichules.com.

Brad Richter has performed as a soloist, with renowned chamber ensembles and in duos with artists such as Grammy winning cellist, David Finckel of the Emerson String Quartet. His performances and compositions are frequently heard on NPR and PBS stations around the United States and he has also written and performed the score for the Emmy award winning PBS television series, The Desert Speaks. Festival appearances have included the Guitar Festival of Great Britain, The London International Guitar Festival (with Carlos Bonell, Alirio Diaz and John Williams), The Aspen Music Festival and the Walnut Valley Festival, where he won the National Finger-picking Championship, a competition that features some of the world’s finest guitarists from all genres. Brad teaches music at the University of Arizona in Tucson and is the Artistic Director of Lead Guitar!, a non-profit he co-founded in 2006 which establishes guitar programs in schools around the country with large populations of at-risk-youth. The rugged beauty of the American southwest continues to be a source of inspiration for much his music. Go to his web site at www.bradrichter-guitar.com.

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