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.”