Scottish composer and Professor of Music at the University of Delaware, Jennifer Margaret Barker and her husband John set up the Joseph Vella Prize for Best Composition at the University of Delaware last year. News of Mro Vella’s sudden passing prompted Jennifer and John to set up this wonderful award which is given to the most promising composer in the Department of Music where Jennifer is Professor of Composition.
Last year’s prize went to Christopher Johnson, while this year’s prize which has just been awarded, has been given to Jorge Iván Ramírez Marin. The award was presented during Still Breathing: The University of Delaware Contemporary Music Ensemble Concert. In Jennifer’s words, “Jorge is one of my graduate students, from Colombia. He is an absolutely wonderful young man, as well as composer. I do believe that Joseph would have loved him! He graduates with his Masters degree in May, and is applying to the London College of Music for his Ph.D. in Music Composition.”
Jorge has been accepted at the ISAM Composition Summer Institute in Germany this summer, and the Joseph Vella Prize will help finance Jorge’s travels from the US to Germany for this course.
Thank you for this wonderful initiative, Jennifer and John, which does not only keep the memory and legacy of our dear Mro Vella alive but is also contributing towards helping students further their studies and encouraging them in their endeavour.