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May 7, 2009
Dr. William Richardson, associate professor of music at Northwest, has received a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture during the spring 2010 semester at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia.
Richardson, who teaches applied trumpet and jazz appreciation at Northwest and directs the Northwest Jazz Ensemble, will instruct trumpet students at the academy. He also expects to perform extensively at schools and other venues.
The award means Richardson, who has also received a concurrent sabbatical from the University, will join approximately 1,100 Fulbright Scholars selected to work, study and teach abroad during the coming year under the auspices of America's flagship international educational exchange program, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
"It's going to be fun to experience how the trumpet players there are trained, and I think they're interested in getting a little bit of an American perspective as well," he said. "My understanding is that there is a lot of activity in Riga (Latvia's capital city) for trumpet players -- a ballet or an opera every night. So it will be interesting to see all of that and experience the different culture."
Richardson expects most of his teaching and performing abroad to revolve around the classical trumpet repertoire, but he's also looking forward to perhaps offering a jazz appreciation class and checking out the European jazz scene, which some musicians and critics claim is more vibrant than in United States.
"Yes, that's funny," Richardson said. "For whatever reasons, it seems like European audiences appreciate this American art form better than American audiences."
A native of Lee's Summit, Richardson attended college at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg and earned a master's degree at Florida State. He holds a doctorate in trumpet performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
A member of the St. Joseph Symphony, the Maguire Street Brass Quintet and the Northwest Bell Tower Brass, Richardson has performed professionally with the Illinois Symphony, the Waco Symphony, the Mid-Texas Symphony, the Abilene Philharmonic, the East Texas Symphony and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He has published articles in the "Journal of the International Trumpet Guild" and is a Conn-Selmer clinician and performing artist.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 286,500 recipients -- 108,160 Americans and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries -- with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions.
Fulbright recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential. Prominent alumni include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus; Javier Solana, European Union foreign policy chief; Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University; Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel Corp.; Alejandro Jara, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization; operatic soprano Renee Fleming; and architect Daniel Libeskind.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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