Jazz singer wins Fulbright scholarship

Jazz vocalist Jo Lawry

Jazz vocalist Jo Lawry
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Tuesday, 8 April 2003

One of the most outstanding graduates from the University of Adelaide's Elder School of Music, jazz vocalist Jo Lawry, has become the latest recipient of one of the world's most prestigious scholarships - the Fulbright Scholarship for study in the US.

Worth $40,000 for one year, the Fulbright is a nationally competitive scholarship awarded by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. Its aim is to promote and support educational and cultural exchange between Australia and America.

Ms Lawry, 24, from Fullarton, graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor in Music (Jazz) in 2000, and received the award for best vocalist in the jazz program. She also graduated with First Class Honours in Jazz Performance in 2001, and in that year was named top undergraduate student in the jazz program.

As well as winning the Fulbright Scholarship, Ms Lawry has also secured the University of Adelaide's George Murray Scholarship, valued at $47,000. Both the George Murray and the Fulbright will enable Ms Lawry to study for a Masters degree in Music at Purchase College, a campus of the State University of New York.

The two-year degree is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Ms Lawry, who has been tutoring in jazz voice at the Elder School and her old high school, Concordia College, as well as leading the contemporary jazz quintet Jo's Garage and performing with top Adelaide bands.

"I feel like I haven't done anything yet to deserve it," says Ms Lawry of her Fulbright Scholarship. "I know that I will - it's such a tremendous validation, so encouraging to have someone place that much faith in you. I feel a very strong sense of responsibility to make this worth their while."

At Purchase College, Ms Lawry will be learning from some major names in the jazz world, including "half of my record collection". She is no stranger to New York or America, having toured the States a number of times, first as a World Vision Youth Ambassador for Australia in 1996, then as a member of the university-based Adelaide Connection.

She says she aims to promote Adelaide and Australia to New Yorkers: "There are so many musicians, so many talented people here that the world doesn't know about. If I can be a bit of a window into some of the wonderful things that happen here in Adelaide, that would be very special to me."


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