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1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

New Governor’s School for the Arts session opens June 19 at Transylvania University

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Kentucky’s most talented young artists from 49 counties will assemble on Transylvania University’s campus on Sunday, June 19, to begin the three-week 2011 session of the Governor’s School for the Arts.

The latest GSA class is comprised of 225 rising juniors and seniors from all regions of the Commonwealth who will receive top-level training through daily seminars, master classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips to various arts attractions in central Kentucky.

The student-artists will receive rigorous instruction in nine disciplines: architecture, creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theatre, new media, visual arts and vocal music.

More than 4,250 of the state’s most talented high school artists from all 120 counties have attended the 24-year-old GSA summer program following a highly demanding selection process. Each year since the program’s inception in 1987, over 1,500 students have applied annually for one of the available scholarships, valued at more than $3,000, including a record 1,700 this year. Transylvania is among 20 colleges and universities that offer scholarships to GSA alumni.

The program will culminate on Saturday, July 9, with an all-day festival that celebrates the achievements of the young artists through performances open to family, friends, and the public. Graduation ceremonies are held at 5 p.m. in Haggin Auditorium.

“The presence of the Governor’s School for the Arts on our campus each summer is an eagerly anticipated event,” said Transylvania President R. Owen Williams. “We feel that our urban setting in Lexington, combined with our outstanding arts facilities, make Transylvania a perfect fit for the GSA summer program and we hope that many of these young artists will return to Transylvania when they make their college choices.

“Having the GSA students on campus each summer, rehearsing and performing both indoors and out, adds an element of richness to our campus that can’t be duplicated elsewhere,” Williams added.

Program highlights in 2011 include performances by Henry Pickens, filmmaker Peter Byck, the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble, singer/song writer/storyteller Mitch Barrett, the Brian Foley Band and the Endless Road Strings. The Affrilachian Poets will also make a presentation. Another popular attraction, Louisville Flamenco, will be on hand during the final week.

The GSA participants will travel to Louisville for a backstage tour of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, viewing the Kentucky Show, on June 24.

The GSA is a public and private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and several private supporters. Today, the vital funding required to make GSA a reality is provided by the state through the leadership of the Governor’s Office and the Kentucky Tourism Arts, and Heritage Cabinet as well as The Kentucky Center Endowment Fund, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and more than 200 corporations, parents, educators, alumni and friends of GSA.