THURSDAY, JULY 10
Leah Sproul, a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Oklahoma City University’s music composition program, has been awarded the Moritz von Bomhard Fellowship from University of Louisville.
The fellowship covers full tuition, health care, and a stipend of $12,000 a year. As a Bomhard Fellow in composition, Sproul will earn a master of music degree while focusing on writing dramatic vocal works. The award honors Moritz von Bomhard, a Louisville School of Music professor who also was a composer, conductor, pianist, and opera producer, and founder of the Kentucky Opera.
“Leah is a terrific songwriter, and this fellowship recognizes her talent and will enable her to continue to develop her craft and artistry,” said Dr. Edward Knight, OCU’s director of music composition. “We are extremely proud of her.”
Sproul was named 2008 Outstanding Senior Woman by the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. She has been active in the international women's music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota since 2005, and won the 2008 SAI Scholastic Award. She is a member of the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda, and outgoing president of OCU's Alpha Zeta chapter, which raises money for public school music programs and initiated a recycling program in the Bass School.
She is a winner of the Imogene Bowers Memorial Award, honoring pianists and members of SAI who have upheld the standards of the fraternity and showed exemplary skill and musicianship. Sproul also has been recognized with two awards in music theory, one in 2006 for the best paper on the topic of American Musical Theater, "Spring Fling: Aaron Copland, Martha Graham and the Collaborative Process," and an honorable mention this year for "Alberto Ginastera's Piano Sonata No. 1: A Modern Analysis Utilizing Conventional Forms." She also is included in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.”
Sproul is a member of Project 21, Oklahoma City University’s consortium of composers and other musicians committed to music of the 21st century, and represented the group to the Dean’s Council.
She lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, until she was six, before moving to Texas. In addition to singing her original compositions, she plays the piano, guitar, bass guitar, percussion and has taken lessons on clarinet, viola, and horn. She has been featured soloist with the OCU Jazz Combo and plays her original acoustic songs in area clubs.
Over the past decade, Project 21 has premiered more than 500 pieces on the OCU campus. Since 1998, Bass School composers have achieved a 100 percent success rate in winning admission to graduate schools. Alumni have been accepted to the composition programs at Juilliard, Yale University, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Southern California’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program, New York University's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at Tisch School for the Arts, San Francisco Conservatory, Cal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Arizona, Bowling Green State University, University of Louisville, the Conservatory of Music at University of Missouri-Kansas City, Florida State University, University of Oklahoma, and London’s Royal College of Music.