The Hansen Music Fellowship

2015-2016 Hansen Fellows

An extraordinary fellowship for two extraordinary freshmen

Program Overview

The Hansen Fellowship Program provides funding to selected undergraduate students for musical experiences vital to students’ long-term advancement. From travel, to music summer training programs, to recording and performance opportunities, Hansen Fellows will be uniquely and more impressively prepared for their musical careers. There is no other program like this throughout the country. Hansen Fellows are given extraordinary opportunities for professional development that are more typical for master's and doctoral study. 

Each year, two entering freshman students in the College of Musical Arts will be designated as Hansen Fellows. Students awarded the Hansen Fellowship will be the most talented and is expected they will be of a top academic and musical caliber. Hansen Fellows will receive an additional stipend of $1,000 annually, plus generous monetary allocations to cover the expenses of their four-year program of fellowship activities.

Year 1 $1,000 stipend and up to $2,000 summer experience $3,000
Year 2 $1,000 stipend and up to $1,000 master class/lessons $2,000
Year 3 $1,000 stipend and up to $1,000 commissioning project  $2,000
Year 4 $1,000 stipend and up to $3,000 recording/performance $4,000
  Total value of Hansen Fellowship   $11,000


To be eligible for the Hansen Fellowship, students must perform a successful BGSU audition and be nominated by an applied faculty member. Criteria for consideration are listed below.

Demonstration of exceptional musical performance through BGSU audition and related performance activity

Acceptance to BGSU and the College of Musical Arts as a music major by March 1

Minimum ACT score of 26 (excluding International Students) or equivalent SAT score (1230 and above)

Minimum TOEFL score of 71 (for International Students)

Nomination by BGSU applied faculty member

Interview Process

Once a student is nominated for the fellowship, they will be contacted by the Hansen Fellowship Committee (HFC) for additional information. Students nominated will be required to submit a video audition recording with the same repertoire performed for their BGSU audition, a letter of recommendation, and complete an interview with members of the HFC. Interviews may be conducted in person or through Skype or other technology.


The Dean of the College of Musical Arts will notify students selected for the Hansen Fellowship by April 1.

Application Submission

Email the completed application form as an attachment to Dr. Laura Melton, Chair of Music Performance Studies at the College of Musical Arts;

For information about the application process, prospective freshmen should contact:
Dr. Laura Melton, chair
Music Performance Studies
College of Musical Arts
Bowling Green State University
Moore Musical Arts Center
Bowling Green, OH 43403

Meet our Hansen Fellows!


Gene Waldron, violin and string bass, Music Performance, from Wyoming, OH
I started my summer before starting at BGSU playing violin in the Seven Hills Sinfonietta, a community symphony led by a conductor at University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music. We performed a jazz and pop based program in Cincinnati. I then went to an Ohio Community Theater Association (OCTA) regional competition, playing violin and cello in the pit orchestra for Jekyll and Hyde, the musical, with a theater group called "Footlighters". Our group moved on to the State competition and perform in Columbus over Labor Day weekend. Near the end of the summer, I was a faculty member for a camp at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center, playing the violin with piano students in order for them to become more experienced accompanists. In mid August, I played with the Queen City Chamber Orchestra as a violinist for their "Mostly Mozart" summer concert. Throughout the summer, I played with friends and family to provide music for several weddings.

Noah Laabs, tuba, Music Performance, from Mount Horeb, WI
I had a pretty relaxing summer to finish off my high school career and to begin college life. In July, my family and I drove up to Mercer, Wisconsin to have a relaxing week at the cabin full of fishing and swimming. Then on July 5th, I traveled overseas to tour in Peru with my youth orchestra, The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. In Peru, I traveled to Lima, Cusco, and Puno all while performing concerts in each city. After flying back on July 15th, I spent the rest of the summer working, practicing, and preparing for an exciting fall at BGSU.


Erin Burks, voice, Music Education

  • As a vocalist, we determined that Erin would take her private study experience in her first year.
    •   Summer 2018 – Private study with Nancy Maultsby, professor at Baldwin-Wallace and Mary Stucky, professor at CCM
      • This summer, I spent a week studying with Professor Nancy Maultsby at Baldwin Wallace University. Prof. Maultsby graduated from Westminster Choir College and was a graduate student at Indiana University School of Music. Among numerous other awards, she is the winner of the Marian Anderson Award and the Martin E. Segal Award. Prof. Maultsby and I acknowledged that we only had a small amount of time together. So, we decided to use our time to focus on vocal technique as opposed to working on repertoire. We worked on breath support, efficiency of sound, transitioning between chest and head register, and awareness of self. Every day was something new, and our last day together was a recap of everything we had worked on. I absolutely loved working with Prof. Maultsby. She equipped me with so many vocal exercises, as well as a new perspective on my own voice. While some of the things we were focusing on were the same as what I was working on in my prior semester at BGSU, her approach to such things was unique and refreshing. Hearing the same ideas presented in a new way reinforced the techniques I’m working on to become a better musician. Aside from music-related stuff, Prof. Maultsby was simply a wonderful woman and made every lesson enjoyable. We got to know each other past the surface level and shared some lovely exchanges. It was such an honor to work with her.

Christian Bush, tuba, Music Education

  • Summer 2018 – Gene Porkorny Low Brass Institute, Redlands, CA and Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, Denver, CO

Gretchen Hill is a freshman studying clarinet performance and music education. She is originally from Flint, Michigan where she studied clarinet at the Flint Institute of Music with Dr. Spencer Prewitt, a Bowling Green alumnus. During her time at the Flint Institute, she participated in the Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Hentgen Honors Woodwind Quintet. Some of her notable accomplishments include participating in the 2015 and 2016 MSBOA All-State Bands, the 2015 and 2016 Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Bands, and the 2015 Michigan Youth Arts Outstanding Soloist Competition. In 2016, she won the North Oakland Concert Band Concerto Competition, and just recently, took first at the Ohio MTNA Senior Performance Woodwind Competition. Gretchen is so thankful for all of the musical opportunities that the College of Musical Arts has to offer, and for such a great clarinet studio full of outstanding musicians.

Ling Na "Nana" Kao is from Taiwan. She has been playing violin and piano since she was 4 years old. She is majoring in violin and minoring in piano at BGSU. For Nana, the violin has a distinctive sound, and she enjoys playing it. When she was 15 years old, she decided to go to the U.S. for college, and is happy to be here in Bowling Green.

Katherine Ray is a first-year music performance major from central Missouri. She is currently studying flute with Dr. Conor Nelson as her primary instrument and piano with Dr. Thomas Rosenkranz as a secondary instrument. She has participated in musical experiences such as being principal flute of the Missouri Symphony Young Artists Philharmonic, being a founding member of the Missouri Symphony Young Artists Woodwind Quintet, accompanying choirs, and participating in musicals and various honor bands. Her primary teacher was Elysia Crecelius, and she has taken lessons/masterclasses with Amy Porter, Alexa Still, John Thorne, Alice K. Dade, and Nadine Hur. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and learning new things.

Summer experience update: Chaska McGowan

The Atlantic Music Festival was the most diverse music festival which I have attended. It featured many programs including composition, opera, piano, new music, music lab (technology), a wonderful orchestra, and chamber music. Students were highly encouraged to network with musicians outside of their program for collaborative work and future projects. The atmosphere was appreciably open. Though each program operated on its own, each student was welcome to mix and match lectures, performance opportunities, and collaborative opportunities as they desired.

I was fortunate to have lessons with Dr. Bruce Brubaker and Dr. Gabriel Choros from the New England Conservatory, Dr. Logan Skelton from the University of Michigan, Father Sean Duggan from SUNY Fredonia, and many others. One unique benefit of this festival was that students were able to have at least one lesson with every teacher who visited the festival. Students received two or three lessons each week of the festival. Master classes by visiting professors were also held several times a week. The frequency of the lessons and master classes as well as the diversity of feedback helped students approach familiar pieces with an enormous variety of interpretive decisions.

After the attacks in Paris, a fellow pianist composed a short six-hand piano piece expressing his sadness, empathy, and anger at the events. He performed the piece the next day in afternoon seminar with two other pianists. It was a perfect expression of music’s ability to offer a response to violence and the most moving performance which I heard during the month. It aptly reflected the festival's mission statement:

 “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” -- Leonard Bernstein
The festival was a challenging opportunity to perform for unfamiliar professors and students. I believe it was a good learning opportunity to perform under pressure and become comfortable with unfamiliar situations without clear answers. The experience was profitable musically and personally because it forced me to grow more independent and to find solutions myself than any other festival which I have attended.
Thank you for your contribution to making this experience possible. I deeply appreciate your support.Chaska McGowan image

2018-2019 Hansen Fellows