THE ENSIGN-DARLING VOCAL FELLOWSHIP
The Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship (EDVF) began in 2002 as a full scholarship vocal program for a small number of talented high school students interested in classical and theatrical music. The Fellowship was made possible by an extraordinary gift from former Bushnell Trustee, Robert E. Darling, Jr., which will provide 25 years of funding, from 2002 through 2027. Bob, a lifelong singer himself, envisioned this program to provide young vocalists with exceptional natural talent the training and exposure to which they may not otherwise have access. Ninety-nine percent of all Fellows have pursued college degrees and those who have continued to study music and performance have gone on to have success in the performing arts, including on Broadway and in touring productions.
From 2002 through 2020 an average of seven fellows and two alternates were selected annually through a competitive, needs-blind audition process and received weekly private voice lessons, vocal coaching, and tutoring in music skills. Additionally, Fellows participated in monthly Master Classes, attended select performances annually at The Bushnell, and experienced live opera at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. The yearlong fellowship culminated in a spring concert given by the Fellows in Belding Theater at The Bushnell.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused theaters and schools to operate in a virtual space, the Fellowship continued with online vocal lessons and Master Classes, and a stellar virtual concert in the summer of 2021. During this time, we discovered an opportunity to reach even more incredibly talented young vocalists. With that knowledge, and with Bob Darling’s vision as our guiding principle, Ensign-Darling New Voices, presented by the Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship, was born.
Virtual EDVF Concert Program
Watch the 2020-2021 Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship Concert
For more information on auditions, visit our Ensign-Darling New Voices page.
A LOOK INTO PREVIOUS ENSIGN-DARLING CONCERTS
The Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship was a full scholarship vocal program for a select, auditioned number of very talented and highly motivated young singers interested in classical and theatrical music. Fellows have gone on to star in professional productions around the world, including Broadway.
A scene from Falstaff, 2013
ENSIGN-DARLING GRADUATES FIND SUCCESS
99% of all Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellows pursue a college education. Below are examples of some of the top colleges and universities in the country that fellows have attended.
Undergraduate Schools: Berklee College of Music; The Boston Conservatory; Bucknell University; Carnegie Mellon University; Central Connecticut State University; Emerson College; Hartt School of Music at University of Hartford; Marist College; Muhlenberg College; Naropa University; The New England Conservatory; New York University Steinhardt School; New York University Tisch School of the Arts; North Carolina School of the Arts; Northwestern University; Oberlin Conservatory of Music; Princeton University; Rider University; Sacred Heart University; Schulich School of Music at McGill University; Skidmore College; State University of New York, Fredonia; Wagner College; University of Connecticut; University of Rochester; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yale University
Graduate Schools: Manhattan School of Music; Rice University, Shepherd School of Music; Washington University School of Law
BroadwayWorld Interviews: Sarah Primmer of CINDERELLA ON TOUR at Place Des Arts
CT Native Kenny Francoeur on tour with The Book of Mormon (at The Bushnell February 2017) as the show's dance captain and swing.
Emily Bautista will be part of the cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of MISS SAIGON