By Bethany Price
Stephen W. Salts, an alumnus from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has received a Fulbright Postgraduate Award to enable him to study at Royal Holloway, University of London on one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programs operating worldwide.
Created by treaty in 1948, the US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or UK university. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the U.S. and UK.
Salts earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Florida State University before moving to Los Angeles in 2011. In 2014, he graduated summa cum laude with the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB
Salts has prepared choirs for TED2013, Cole Conservatory’s Opera Institute, Britten’s War Requiem (Britten100/LA) and performances of Duruflé’s Requiem and Holst’s The Planets. Stephen is also in demand as a professional chorister and has sung at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Los Angeles Bach Festival, Long Beach Opera, St. James’ in the City Anglican/Episcopal Church and Staples Center with The Rolling Stones. He is featured in two documentary films, including The American Chorister.
At Royal Holloway, Salts will pursue his second Master of Music degree. His research will allow him to be steeped in the rich legacy of the English choral tradition as he sings with the world-renowned Choir of Royal Holloway and studies with celebrated conductor, Rupert Gough. At Royal Holloway, Stephen will be the conductor of The Founder’s Choir.
“I hope that my work and research as a Fulbright postgraduate student in London will enable me to carry the torch in the field of choral music and pursue my career as a conductor,” Salts said. “My time in the Master of Music program at CSULB was extraordinarily rich and full of life-changing experiences, and I am so thankful for the chance to explore the study of choral conducting even further in the United Kingdom.”
The Fulbright Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.
Nearly 300,000 women and men from all over the world have had their lives changed as participants in the Fulbright Program. Of these alumni, approximately 15,000 UK nationals have studied in the U.S. and 12,000 U.S. nationals in the UK on Fulbright educational exchange programs.
Notable alumni of the U.S.-UK Commission include: Malcolm Bradbury, novelist; Liam Byrne, politician; Milton Friedman, economist and a 1976Nobel Prize Winner; Charles Kennedy, politician; John Lithgow, actor; Tarik O’Regan, composer; Sylvia Plath, poet; Lord William Wallace, politician; Ian Rankin, novelist; Sir Christopher Rose QC, judge; Baroness (Shirley) Williams, politician; Vanessa Heaney, journalist BBC World Service; and Toby Young, journalist and playwright.
The commission is funded partially by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and the U.S. Department of State, with additional support coming from a variety of individual and institutional partners including many leading UK universities and an annual contribution from the Scottish Government.