University of Connecticut undergraduate Sarah Marze ’23 (SFA) has been named a 2023 Marshall Scholar. Marze is just one of 40 students nationally to earn the prestigious honor this year, and will have the opportunity to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom as part of the program.
The Marshall Scholarship Program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the United States for the assistance that the United Kingdom received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, it has remained uniquely positioned among national scholarships for its prestige and scope, offering talented young Americans the chance to study any academic subject at United Kingdom universities of their choice for up to three years.
Marze, a music composition and vocal performance major from Canton, is just one of four students in this year’s class from universities in New England, and the only one from a public university.
“Colleges and universities all over the country nominate their best and brightest for this award, and Sarah’s selection as one of just 40 Marshall Scholars is yet another indication of the caliber of students we have here at the UConn and the life-transformative support they receive from our faculty and staff,” says UConn President Radenka Maric.
She is the sixth Marshall Scholar in UConn history and the fifth since 2008.
“In addition to being immensely talented, Sarah is a creative and dedicated artist who cares about community and exercises real leadership on campus,” says UConn Provost Anne D’Alleva, who previously served as dean of the School of Fine Arts. “She has had the opportunity to work with and be mentored by outstanding faculty members in the School of Fine Arts who have challenged her, nurtured her talent, and stoked her creativity.”
Marze plans to pursue a career that combines composition, conducting, performing, and teaching, with her first step a master’s degree in composition.
In 2019, Marze was selected as a Holster Scholar at UConn, completing an original song cycle, “Songs of Salem, 1692,” about the Salem Witch Trials. She is the president and co-founder of the UConn Composer-Ensemble Collaboration, a student organization which has produced three concerts of student compositions.
Marze sings with the UConn Chamber Singers and is the assistant conductor of Festival Chorus. She is also a member of the Music Student Advisory Council and is employed as a choral scholar with Storrs Congregational Church on campus.
This past summer, she received a UConn IDEA Grant for her project “Let Us Sing: Contemporary Art Songs for Young Singers,” which supported the composition of a book of six art songs on which she collaborated with the Connecticut Poetry Society.
In addition to her IDEA Grant performance, other recent performance credits include singing with the UConn Orchestra for the Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert, as well as with UConn Opera in Menotti’s opera “The Telephone.”
“From the moment she arrived on campus, Sarah has been an absolute dynamo,” says Vin Moscardelli, Director of UConn’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. “The sheer volume of work she has managed to accomplish as a composer and performer would, for most people, take up every waking hour. Her record of success in every realm and at every stage of her college career is a testament to her talent, her work ethic, and her process.”
Marze credits a trio of UConn faculty as her key mentors during here college music career – Professor of Music Composition Kenneth Fuchs; Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies Jamie Spillane; and Associate Professor of Voice, and Coordinator of Applied Vocal Studies Constance Rock.
Marze first got involved in music when her mother Kim, a flutist, had her join the Connecticut Children’s Chorus, and then played the clarinet through high school.
She is already an accomplished composer and describes her current style as “contemporary classical concert music.”
“I have had over 20 compositions performed during my undergraduate career,” says Marze. “The UConn Chamber Singers have performed some of my work and it has also been played at a number of summer festivals, including one in Spokane, Washington.”
“Each year, I have the honor of discovering the next generation of Marshall Scholars here in New England. We are thrilled to have these extraordinary young leaders, from a variety of different backgrounds, joining the ranks of students who have received this prestigious award,” says Peter Abbott OBE, British Consul General to New England. “I look forward with anticipation to seeing them forge their own careers and representing as they do so the depth of the UK-US relationship.”
UConn’s previous Marshall Scholars were: Virginia DeJohn Anderson ’76 (CLAS), Michelle Prairie ’09 (CLAS), Ethan Butler ’09 (CLAS), Antonio Campelli ’15 (SFA) and Akshayaa Chittibabu ’19 (CLAS).
UConn undergraduate Neal Krishna ’23 (CLAS), a double major in physiology & neurobiology and English, was also a finalist for a Marshall Scholarship this year.
The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships (ONSF) is a resource for students interested in learning more about the Marshall Scholarship and other prestigious scholarships and fellowships that support study in all fields. ONSF is part of Enrichment Programs and is open to all graduate and undergraduate students at the University, including students at the regional campuses. For more information, please visit ONSF at www.onsf.uconn.edu.