2014 New Music Tour de Force Scholarship Winner

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With it’s flexible ensemble structure, The New Music Conflagration presents a lot of opportunities for student musicians to perform alongside professionals as well as students from other schools. Providing students with multiple chances to perform outside of the academic atmosphere for the community is another wonderful benefit of their time with The New Music Conflagration. The Board of Directors recognizes that to take on performances outside of one’s musical studies while in college is quite challenging, especially when one considers that many of these students are learning challenging repertoire for The New Music Conflagration in addition to preparing for academic recitals. While we do not have the resources to acknowledge each of these talented students individually, the Board of Directors decided during our 2014 Inaugural Season to establish a scholarship program to highlight the efforts of one student each year. Through our scholarship program we hope to alleviate some of the strain associated with pursuing a degree or career in music so that qualifying students can focus less on financial worries and more on honing their craft as a performer or composer of contemporary concert music. 

In April of 2014, The New Music Conflagration established the New Music Tour de Force Scholarship award which is presented to a currently enrolled student in a college, university or conservatory who demonstrates exceptional talent and commitment to furthering the works of contemporary composers. To be eligible for the Tour De Force Scholarship an individual must: be currently enrolled in a college, university, or conservatory; be actively pursing a degree in music or career in music; have performed in a concert presented by The New Music Conflagration, Inc. or volunteered at a cultural development event such as an Instrumental Petting Zoo; demonstrate talent on their primary instrument; and demonstrate a commitment to furthering the works of contemporary composers.

We are proud to introduce our first scholarship recipient: Madeline Varda, a student from The University of Tampa, who presented works by multiple works by composers in our inaugural concert season. Two of her performances are available at the end of this post. Madeline always came to performances and rehearsals with the most professional behavior. She has proven a to be a dependable artist. We are very excited to see where her career as a performer and promoter of new music takes her. Congratulations Madeline!


2014 New Music Tour de Force Scholarship Winner – Madeline Varda

Madeline Varda, born in Bacau, Romania, is an organist and pianist currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at The University of Tampa. She has studied under Kenneth Hanks, the Program Manager of Music at Hillsborough Community College and currently studies under Grigorios Zamparas, Music Director of Piano Studies as well as Ryan Herbert, Music Director/Universities Organist at The University of Tampa. Entering into her sophomore Varda has already had a great deal of experience in the music world. For the past four years, she has served as the paid traditional pianist and organist at Tims Memorial Presbyterian Church. She has also accompanied many ensembles including: school choirs, chamber orchestras, musical theatre productions, the C@T orchestra, as well as a number of solo acts and ensembles. In addition to her work as a performer, Varda also has a talent for composition. In 2009, she received a State Level Honorable Mention in Music Composition in the Reflections Art Program. In 2013 she penned two original piano works for a student-directed One Act production. Currently, residing in Tampa, Florida, Varda plans on completing her four years at The University of Tampa and continuing to place the musical community at the core of her life!




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