Student Holly Stover Reflects on IIMIF Experience

BISFA student Holly Stover received student grants from the Barbara Ingram Foundation to attend a unique program this past summer. Holly provided a thoughtful reflection of her time at IIMIF:

“One of my very favorite things to do at BISFA is to accompany the BISFA choirs on the Piano. The BISFA Foundation gave me such a fabulous opportunity this past summer through the generosity of two grants to hone my collaborative pianist skills for 10 days at the Intermuse International Music Institute & Festival (IIMIF) at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD.

The IIMIF is a summer solo and chamber music program for string players and pianists, with a maximum enrollment of 25 students each year, that offers a uniquely individual approach that i both challenging and supportive.

Going into the Festival I knew I wanted to work on my musical expression. Through my private lessons with Elizabeth Borowsky and master classes with Brian Ganz I was encouraged and challenged in the areas of both my strengths and weaknesses as a collaborative pianist. Ms. Borowsky and Mr. Ganz are both internationally acclaimed pianist who have performed all over the world and are amazing musicians who have a passion for teaching. They helped me work on my musical expression, and I am so appreciative. Over the 10 days I also learned the ins and outs of collaboratively working with the two violinist in our chamber group. I learned how to play as an equal member of the ensemble. The ebb and flow of the melody required attention to nuances in our music, and I learned how to work very closely to the other violinists. All in all, we had such fun together both in and out of our classes. I experienced such fun things that included swing dancing, yoga, hiking to the Lady of Lourdes statue on campus, playing pool, and laughing with the friends I made there!
On the last day, we performed our chamber pieces in a concert. It was incredible to hear everyone perform their solo and chamber music. I was humbled to hear the talent that surrounded me.

Performing as a collaborative pianist at BISFA gives me such great satisfaction because I am adding to the musicality of the ensemble as a whole. When everyone works together, we can create something beautiful. Thank you Barbara Ingram Foundation for giving me a once-in-a-lifetime chance to improve my skills at IIMIF allowing me to become a better collaborative pianist which will benefit our school.”

BISFA student Holly Stover performing on a Steinway piano at IIMIF

Performing on a Steinway piano as part of IIMIF.

BISFA student Holly Stover receiving IIMIF certificate from Elizabeth Borowsky

Receiving my certificate from the Director of IIMIF, Elizabeth Borowsky.

BISFA student Holly Stover posting with other IIMIF peers and Charles H. Borowsky

Posing with other IIMIF peers and the founder of the IIMIF, Charles H. Borowsky, Ph.D. (center)