Ruggieri Music Scholarship - Applications Now Accepted (Southern California)
Date: May 7, 2014
Location: California, USA
Ruggieri Scholarship Committee
Alexander Ruggieri Memorial Music Scholarship –
Applications Now Accepted
The Ruggieri Scholarship Committee will be awarding a scholarship to a Southern California vocal musician in June. This award was established to honor Alexander Ruggieri—conductor, composer, and vocalist—who contributed so much to Southern California’s musical culture before his passing in 2012.
This $250 scholarship will be awarded to a student who:
1. is a vocal musician;
2. will be a college undergraduate student in the fall of 2014;
3. is majoring or is planning to major in music; and
4. lives in and/or attends school in Southern California
Please note that high school seniors are also eligible to apply if they intend to enter college in the fall of 2014. In addition, vocal musicians who are also composers are welcome to apply and have the choice of auditioning as a vocalist or submitting a manuscript.
Please contact RuggieriScholarship@gmail.com or 626-579-2433 for an application,
Applications will be accepted through May 25 and finalists will be auditioned in early to mid-June. The audition will consist of a prepared solo and a short interview with the selection panel.
Alexander Ruggieri (1952-2012) shared his many gifts with a number of Southern California musical organizations throughout his career. At the time of his passing, Alex was the Music Director of the famed Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company Opera A La Carte, as well as Music Director of the 32-year old University Campus Choir in Westwood and Artistic Director of the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company. For five years he was the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Bach Festival and for seventeen years he was Artistic Director of the Cambridge Singers in Pasadena. He frequently did Russian language coaching for, and occasionally sang with, the Los Angeles Master Chorale. He conducted numerous church choirs in the Los Angeles area, Wichita Falls, TX, and Detroit, MI, over his extensive career.
We honor his memory and his love of music with the Alexander Ruggieri Memorial Music Scholarship. It is our hope that we will be able to offer this scholarship annually, that his legacy live on through the continued music education of young people.
Alex Ruggieri was a man of talent, passion and presence. With a keen mind, a sincere and abiding love of great music, and a booming bass voice, he was an imposing figure that housed sharp wit and a kind heart. He was well-known in Southern California and well beyond, as his tenacity and deep knowledge of choral repertoire made him a sought-after conductor, coach and author. An award-winning composer, Alex was a man of many diverse passions, reading extensively and fostering interests in film, literature, science, history, sports and travel, as well as the performing arts.1
Mr. Ruggieri passed away in July 2012, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. During his life, he was an incredible conductor of both choral and instrumental ensembles, with degrees from the University of Southern California and Wayne State University (Detroit). He studied with such noted teachers as Charles Hirt, Valter Poole, Gustav Meier, Hans Beer and Helmuth Rilling.
Mr. Ruggieri was involved with the music of the Eastern Orthodox Church for over 40 years. He began his career as director of the choir at Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Silverlake, where he sang with his sister, Irene, as a teenager. At age 24, after founding the Orthodox Concert Choir of Los Angeles, he directed the ensemble in the west-coast premiere performance of Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil. A subsequent recording of the work, on VOX-Turnabout records, has been the only performance of this work in the composer-sanctioned English edition in the catalogue.
Mr. Ruggieri was one of 12 choral music experts from around the world, working under the guidance of renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and musicologist Dr. Vladimir Morosan, to compile the most important liturgical music written over the last 1,000 years. The first volume of Monuments of Russian Church Music was published by Musica Russica in 1991. He subsequently co-edited the volume on Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil, and continued to edit and perform lesser-known music from Russia and Eastern Europe.
Mr. Ruggieri’s composition, Madrigals, was awarded first prize in the South Bay Master Chorale’s National Composition Competition in 1998. In 1995, he appeared along with his ensemble, The Cambridge Singers, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the nationally broadcast program Music and the Spoken Word.
Alex’s other interests included classic movies, old-time radio, dance band and swing music from the early 20th century, traveling, racquetball, NPR, museums, astronomy, theater and reading biographies and histories. He loved to discuss religion, politics and music history. He shared the last eight years of his life with Jamie Martin in Pasadena, CA, hosting annual Christmas caroling parties, visiting family, and hiking around Eureka and other parts of the northern California coastline. He is sorely missed by his family and all the people he influenced and loved.