Putting "A Face to the Award"
In the nine years since Bernard and Marjorie Sunshine endowed the Richard Holman Scholarship at Juilliard, the couple has often taken the time to meet the students who receive the scholarship, and then eagerly follow their careers. Recently, the Sunshines came to Juilliard to meet the 2009-2010 scholarship recipient, soprano Chloe Schaaf, BM '12, voice.
Over lunch in the cafeteria, Chloe and the Sunshines learned about each other. Chloe described her typical week as a third-year undergraduate voice student and talked about her classes in diction, the humanities, piano, music theory, ear training, foreign languages and her voice lessons. As it turns out, Chloe studies with Edith Bers, who was also Isabel Leonard's teacher. Isabel Leonard was the very first recipient of the Holman Scholarship-and now sings with the Metropolitan Opera after graduating from Juilliard. Chloe sang with the Met Opera Children's Chorus for many years and still has her eye on that big stage. The Sunshines regularly attend the Met-there is a beautiful pattern here!
Chloe gave a further glimpse into her life as a vocal arts student describing the Mozart opera scenes she was rehearsing and some upcoming auditions. This year she is covering a role in Poulenc's opera Les Mamelles de Tiresias at Juilliard, is singing in a concert on Juilliard's Liederabend series, is performing several madrigals with Juilliard's Historical Performance Program and is giving her junior recital. In addition to all of this she is the head of a Gluck Community Service Fellowship group with three other singers and a pianist. A busy schedule indeed!
She spoke with excitement about her Juilliard Mentor, who is Orin O'Brien, New York Philharmonic double bassist, a Juilliard alumna and faculty member. Orin has brought Chloe to rehearsals and helped her learn about the behind-the-scenes life of a great orchestra. The trailblazing double bassist and her soprano mentee share lively discussion about being performers and about the long road to a professional career. For Chloe this is all part of her Juilliard experience - from her own voice studies to the wealth of arts experience she enjoys on Juilliard's "campus" of Lincoln Center -- to the special moments of getting to know the Sunshines, whose scholarship has helped make her studies possible.
The Sunshines are long-time Westchester residents contemplating a move back to the Upper West Side. They are avid concert and opera-goers who look forward to being able attend more Juilliard performances and see their recipients on stage at Juilliard or over lunch in the cafeteria.
The young soprano and her benefactors also share a passion for community activism. Marjorie was a school librarian before joining her husband's textile company, and in retirement she serves as a volunteer for Dorot, visiting the homebound for an afternoon of conversation. Bernard is a volunteer teacher at the Blythedale Hospital School. Chloe has worked with inner-city children in theater outreach programs and is applying for an educational outreach fellowship sponsored by Julliard.
"Juilliard's mission to develop and educate young talents insures a flourishing future for the arts and is especially appealing to us," said Bernard Sunshine "because of our interest in supporting youth through institutions of education."
The Sunshines endowed the scholarship in memory of Marjorie's brother, Richard Holman. After serving in World War II, Holman became an attorney, and had a career in publishing. Holman founded Wall Street Transcript and Diplomat World Bulletin, two vital resources in the area of finance and international relations. While Holman's schedule was very busy, he always found time to attend opera, symphony and ballet performances, which were the delight of his life. The Sunshines wanted to honor him in a meaningful way-by helping the next generation of performers studying at Juilliard.
Bernard and Marjorie were beaming about the conversation they'd had with Chloe and added, "It is especially satisfying to get to know students on a personal level and we think it is good for recipients to be able to put a face to the award they receive. Sometimes the relationship continues beyond the Juilliard years, which suggests it is equally rewarding to the recipients and us."
For more information about making a scholarship gift, please contact Lori Padua at 212-799-5000, ext. 7152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.