Exceptional music students now have an opportunity to receive free tuition at the College of Staten Island, thanks to a new music scholarship funded through the generosity of former CSI Dean and English Professor Dr. Michael Shugrue. CSI President Tomás Morales announced the new award at a reception prior to a performance of Spectrum Concerts Berlin, which was made possible by the Shugrue Cultural Development Fund.
As Morales discussed this new opportunity for music students to receive instruction from the College’s world-class music faculty, he appealed to directors of high school music programs in the audience. “I am asking you, in particular, to partner with us and think about the students you have now who could benefit from such a scholarship in the future. I believe that CSI’s Music Program will give any of the programs in the area a run for its money, and we’re putting up the money to prove it.”
Morales also announced the first recipient of the scholarship, Gerald Gallardo. Gallardo is a junior Music major at CSI, studying composition with Prof. David Keberle and violin with Prof. Olivier Fluchaire. He is first violinist in the CSI student string quartet and he plays in the Hunter Symphony Orchestra. A Dean’s List student, he has earned a 3.62 GPA. Gallardo serves the College as a technical and teaching assistant in CSI’s Digital Music Laboratory and he is also a private instructor of piano and violin.
Commenting later on his experience in the CSI Music Department, Gallardo said, “CSI’s Music Program is extremely special — it’s like a village where everyone knows each other and supports each other. No matter what time of day it is, when you pass through the music hallway, you will always run into a familiar face. During the semesters that I have studied music at CSI, I have acquired many skills and tools to become a better performing violinist, a much more knowledgeable music instructor, and a deeper, more thoughtful composer.” Gallardo also thanks the Music faculty for their contributions. “All of the professors in the Music Department are extremely talented, very smart, and very helpful. They never allow any students to be in the darkness. I sincerely thank each and every one of them for guiding me on the right path to becoming a better musician.”
Near the end of his remarks, Morales underscored the importance of partnerships between CSI and the community, such as the one between the College and Dr. Shugrue, which ensures that students and Borough residents have free access to performances by some of the world’s best musicians. Morales also called on members of the audience to form similar relationships with CSI to improve life on the Island.