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Theatre & Music

Announcing 2022 Presser Scholar

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and philanthropy. In the charter of incorporation, The Foundation’s purposes are set forth to promote primarily the cause of musical education and musical philanthropy as follows: to provide scholarships for promising students; to increase the value of music education by erecting suitable buildings; and to administer aid to worthy teachers of music in distress. While the Foundation’s priorities have evolved over time, it has provided much needed funding to further the cause of music since 1939. It has been said that Theodore Presser wanted to give back to music what he had made from it.

The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts is grateful to The Presser Foundation for its support in providing our students opportunities to excel in their career and studies in music. Each year the UIC Music Faculty accept the challenge of selecting one student in the music department who shows significant dedication to music making and the promise to share their skill, technique, and abilities to a range of communities and audiences.

This year, the UIC Music Faculty selected BM Jazz Studies student Kathleen Lieffers as the 2022 Presser Scholar.

Kathleen chose to attend UIC because she wanted to live and study music in one of the country’s most culturally-rich cities. She teaches voice and piano lessons at School of Rock, works as an office manager in the Hotel Lincoln, is a wedding singer and performs at venues across Chicago, and is currently recording her own album of original music, to be released at the end of the year.

“I am so humbled and truly appreciative [to receive] this award, and the opportunity to continue my education. It feels incredible to know my hard work is paying off.”

After graduation, Kathleen hopes to continue performing and teaching. Most importantly, she wants to keep learning and growing in music beyond her studies at UIC.

Of Lieffers’ merits as the 2022 Presser Scholar, Head of Music, Professor Louis Bergonzi says:

“We are very proud of Kathleen’s success and commitment to music making and teaching in the Chicago area. This is demonstrated in her dedication not only to her music studies but to her work as a teacher in the Chicago area that provides voice and piano instruction to aspiring musicians. Ms. Lieffers is also a gifted singer and songwriter who has performed in a variety of festivals and popular venues throughout Chicagoland. On behalf of UIC Music, congratulations, Kathleen!”

For more information about Kathleen Lieffers’ music, visit her on Spotify or Facebook.