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Published September 04, 2018
Ben Markley and Beth Vanderborgh are hitting some high notes for the University of Wyoming. The two Department of Music professors recently were named recipients of 2019 Performing Arts Fellowships by the Wyoming Arts Council.
“This is a huge honor for Beth and Ben,” says Scott Turpen, chair of UW’s Department of Music. “Their musicianship skills are among the best in the world. These awards help highlight how talented and hard-working our music faculty are here at the University of Wyoming.”
Markley, a jazz pianist, serves as an assistant professor and director of jazz studies at UW. He directs and coaches the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble and combos, while he also teaches applied jazz piano, improvisation and is the director of the UW Jazz Festival.
He has completed several albums over the last couple of years, including his most recent, “Basic Economy,” which was released in May. That album and his previous, “Clockwise,” both received favorable reviews in the national magazine Downbeat. On Sept. 17, Markley will perform arrangements from “Clockwise” at the renowned Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, which is part of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Vanderborgh, a cellist, serves as associate professor of cello at UW and as principal cellist of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. She initiated UW’s innovative outreach program, the Bach Project, and is the director for the Wyoming Cello Festival.
She enjoys a rich and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and pedagogue. She is a founding member of the acclaimed Stanislas Sextet, based in Nancy, France, and tours regularly with Musica Harmonia and the Helios Trio. Her most recent album, featuring string sextets of Brahms and Dvorak with the Stanislas Sextet, was released this spring.
The Wyoming Arts Council’s Performing Arts Fellowships are awards of merit that are given in honor of excellence in the artists’ field. They are juried by noted professionals in the field based on appropriate media samples and artist statements. The Wyoming Arts Council provides funding and support statewide for projects big and small through grants, partnerships, programs and unique opportunities. The council plays an important role in the economic and social development of every community by investing in the arts. It awards almost 150 grants and fellowships each year, funding programs and projects from every county, thereby serving more than a million participants.