Berklee Valencia Graduate Receives Fulbright Award to Argentina
Andrew Skinner M.M. '20 has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award for directed study in the 2021-2022 academic year.
Berklee College of Music is pleased to announce that Andrew Skinner M.M. ‘20 and Devina Boughton B.M. ‘21 have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program Open Study/Research Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. They are the first Berklee alumni to receive a Fulbright award in over a decade, with the previous award from 2009 to Liz Maxfield B.M. ‘09. Skinner received his Master of Music Degree in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation from Berklee Valencia in 2020, and Boughton graduated from Berklee College of Music in May with a composition and performance degree.
As Fulbright participants, Skinner and Boughton will study, perform, and conduct research abroad for the 2021-2022 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic achievement, and record of service. As Fulbright alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed alumni, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 39 who have served as a head of state or government.
Skinner, a native of Clayton, Georgia, will be recording the life stories of the surviving first generation of Nuevo Cancionero folk musicians in Mendoza, Argentina. Nuevo Cancionero is an artistic movement that reinvents traditional Argentinian folk music to eliminate cultural boundaries, address social issues, and develop musical stories that relate to the lives of ordinary Argentinians. This unique music, known for its poetic lyrics, has played an important role in the country’s conscience throughout the social and political events of the past 60 years. Skinner will transcribe all interviews into an academic article as well as through a series of podcasts, tying together the stories of the musicians into one narrative. Skinner also plans to collaborate with Nuevo Cancionero musicians using his audio engineering background to continue to advance their distinct musical style.
“I am honored to receive this grant and to be able to record these important stories; as an audio engineer and musician who has long admired Argentinian folk music, I am excited to be immersed in its musical community and engage in cultural exchange,” said Skinner. “I have been working towards this project, and reapplying for funding for it, for three years, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to pursue the research on the ground in Mendoza for nine months.”
“I am so proud of both Devina and Andrew for receiving Fulbright U.S. Student Program Awards,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “It is wonderful to see our graduates dedicating their creativity and resources to such important projects, and I am thrilled the Fulbright Program has recognized them for all their hard work. I wish them the best of luck as they continue to research, create, and learn in the upcoming year. Berklee’s strength in educating world-class performers, dancers, composers and actors sometimes overshadows the academic excellence we have worked hard to create; two Fulbright Scholars affirms this hard work.”
Boughton, a native of Portland, Oregon, will be studying global music at the renowned Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. They will be exploring their Finnish heritage in a masters-level self-directed study for two semesters, centered around the Finnish epic poem, The Kalevala. The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Finnish oral folklore and mythology, telling an epic story about the Creation of the Earth. It is regarded as the national epic of Finland, and one of the most significant works of Finnish literature embedded in the Finnish national identity. The work has been heralded internationally throughout history, and partly influenced J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth mythology, as one example.
While at Berklee, Boughton was a member of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, where they drew inspiration from studying under Kris Davis, associate program director of creative development. “I am incredibly honored and excited to receive this grant from Fulbright Finland and to be able to study at the Sibelius Academy this fall,” says Boughton. “As part of my research goals, I will create a musical composition comparing sections of the Finnish epic poem, The Kalevala, to textile traditions from the regions in which those stories were collected. Connection, versatility, and collaboration will strengthen the music industry in a time where the arts need more support than ever.” Boughton hopes this experience will serve towards a career that includes traveling and composing music, as well as teaching.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at Berklee through the office of Career Strategy & Service in partnership with the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services. For more information on Fulbright Awards, as well as other national scholarship opportunities at Berklee, please visit the Career Center’s website.
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce that 2021 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program. Celebrations throughout the year will highlight the impressive accomplishments and legacy of the program and its alumni over its first 75 years, both in the United States and around the world. A dedicated 75th Anniversary website - www.fulbright75.org – is being updated throughout 2021 to showcase anniversary events and to facilitate ongoing engagement.
Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.
For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail ECA-Press@state.gov.