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Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain awarded entering students Laura Blasco Llopis and Kimberly Kate Ellwanger and continuing student Zoe Schneider merit- and need-based scholarships, covering up to 70 percent of the tuition fees for Berklee’s graduate programs. To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates had to be female, show talent, and demonstrate excellence, outstanding achievements, and commitment to the musicianship and leadership of women in music, in addition to being accepted to study at one of the aforementioned graduate programs.
The Berklee Scholarship for Outstanding Women was launched in January 2018, and by endowing this fund, Berklee’s campus in Valencia aims to assist women in accessing music studies and pursuing a professional career in music, empowering them to balance the presence of women in the industry.
“Berklee's Valencia campus is constantly working on different initiatives to promote diversity on campus, and the Berklee Scholarship for Outstanding Women is one of the initiatives that we are very excited about,” said Pilar Vicente, director of enrollment in Valencia. “We had excellent female students who were considered for this scholarship and are thrilled that Kimberly, Laura, and Zoe will be joining us soon. They are excellent examples of gifted women with the outstanding talent and leadership potential to contribute to the Berklee community. With this scholarship, we want to help them to continue developing their careers and to share their talent with the Berklee community and beyond. We are working on other scholarship initiatives for fall 2019, so we recommend that all applicants interested in pursuing a graduate degree on the Valencia campus register in the program they are interested in and to follow us on social media.”
Laura Blasco Llopis, born in Valencia, Spain, is one of the scholarship recipients. She has a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and has being composing for the last 10 years, having scored seven short films so far. She’s currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in orchestra and choir conducting at the Conservatory of Valencia and decided to apply to the Master of Music in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games program in order to hone in on the art of soundtrack composition.
“Receiving this award is a great honor and a dream come true. I have been wishing to enroll in this master's degree program, and I wouldn't have had the chance to do so if I hadn't been granted this scholarship. In fact, I would surely have had no choice but to decline admission. I'm very pleased and grateful for this opportunity,“ Blasco said.
Another beneficiary is Kimberly Kate Ellwanger. She is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist from the U.S. who holds a Bachelor of Arts in music (composition and vocal performance) from Chapman University in Orange, California. She also creates her own music as Dot, is one of the original members of the L.A.-based production collective Team Supreme, has produced a wide range of original songs for several artists, and has scored music for film, television, and art installations. Furthermore, Ellwanger holds management experience as the founder and CEO of Unspeakable Records, an independent music label dedicated to supporting women in music. Last but not least, she has worked closely with Ableton over the years, teaching official workshops and participating as an international guest speaker. She decided to enroll the Master of Music in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation program to bring her knowledge of music production and engineering to the next level.
“This award is a tremendous honor, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to come to Berklee. All of my technical knowledge has been self-taught until this point, so I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to learn more about music technology in such an incredible environment and expand my skills as a producer. I wouldn't be able to attend this program without financial assistance, so receiving this award means the world to me,” said Ellwanger.
The third award recipient is Zoe Schneider, also from the U.S., a singer, speaker, poet, and alumna who graduated from Berklee’s campus in Boston with a Bachelor of Music in music business/management. She also attended the Berklee Study Abroad program in Valencia as an undergraduate. She has been an outstanding representative in the fight against inequality, involving herself in on-campus gender and diversity initiatives such as HeForShe, ProjectNextUp, and the Africana Studies Center, among others. The next academic year, she will enter the Master of Arts in Global Entertainment and Music Business program to expand her knowledge in this field.
Speaking of the scholarship’s impact on her decision to come to Valencia and join the master’s degree program, Schneider said, “[This] is a chance for me to explore my talents, passions, and self post-undergrad. The four years spent at Berklee acquiring my bachelor’s degree were incredible, but I feel as if I was just beginning to figure out who I am. Now as a master’s degree candidate, I will be able to have the space to focus on the pieces of myself I feel I need to refine and strengthen the most. The time and resources I will have available to me during this upcoming year will only make me a more competitive, more competent, and more confident music business professional.”