Austin Peay student among six selected worldwide for conductor scholarship
CLARKSVILLE, TN – Austin Peay State University graduate student conductor selected for international competition conductor scholarship with Girls Who Conduct and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.
Sandra Cepero was one of six conductors accepted into the new scholarship program designed to support aspiring women, self-identifying women and non-binary conductors through mentoring, observation, training and practice.
“It’s a good opportunity to grow, to learn, and it’s a good experience because I can meet women from Korea, England, different parts of the world,” said Cepero, who was born in Cuba and lived in Mexico, Spain. and the Czech Republic. “The world of music is a bit difficult, and for women, it is more difficult.”
The scholarship includes three residency weekends and several virtual meetings throughout the academic year. Residency weekends allow fellows to observe rehearsals, attend Georgia Symphony Orchestra concerts and work with musicians during orchestral conducting workshops.
Cepero has already attended a residency weekend in late September and will be returning to Atlanta in February and May.
“I had good conversations, good meetings,” she said. “We talked about important topics, interviews for jobs in the future, preparing ourselves for the future.
“We were also with the orchestra to conduct, rehearse. We have had a very busy weekend.
The weekend lasted three days and the days lasted from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“And after I got back (to Clarksville), I went straight to my class,” Cepero added. “I slept three hours that night.
Cepero is a graduate teaching assistant and student under the supervision of Austin Peay music teacher Dr. Gregory Wolynec. She has conducted orchestras in Europe, South America and the United States and is assistant conductor of the Austin Peay Symphony Orchestra.
She has been studying music since the age of 7, including pursuing higher education in Spain and Mexico.
The five conductors, in addition to Cepero, chosen for the scholarship are Renatka Dworak Berlin of Charlotte, North Carolina; Maria del Mar Goyes Rojas from Colombia; JaeEun Kim from South Korea; Constança Simas from Portugal; and Catherine Willingham of Atlanta, Georgia.
“The aim of the program is to work with aspiring female conductors from all walks of life and with different backgrounds, including candidates from ethnic minority communities and people with disabilities, who are currently under-represented in the field. classical music, “said Girls driving founder Chaowen Ting, associate professor of music and director of orchestral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
To learn more about the music programs offered at Austin Peay, visit the Music department website.