Olivia Bustos was named the 2022-23 Presser Scholar at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, one of the most prestigious awards for undergraduate students.
Bustos, a senior, expects to graduate this May with a music education degree.
The Presser Foundation was created under the deeds of trust and will of Theodore Presser in 1939. It is solely dedicated to the philanthropic support of music and music education.
Awardees must demonstrate a high level of musical and academic accomplishment and demonstrate strong qualities of leadership and citizenship. Recipients also should contribute to the success of the school and show individual growth and perseverance.
Bustos grew up singing with her sisters and in her childhood church’s youth choir where she gained many of her musical skills. She also served as a soloist and mass cantor. At the University of Arizona, Bustos has been the secretary and president of the Symphonic Choir as well as a soloist, member, and soprano section leader. She has also served as the President of the Undergraduate Chapter of ACDA and helped organize the High School Honor Choir, hosted by the Fred Fox School of Music.
Bustos has an extensive music background in playing the tenor saxophone, flute, and clarinet in wind and jazz ensembles. She is student teaching at Esperero Canyon Middle School and Manzanita Elementary School.
Bustos was nominated for the Presser Scholar by Dr. Elizabeth Schauer and Dr. Andrew Stuckey. Dr. Schauer noted her many roles, including assistant director for the Ladybug and Hummingbird choirs of the Tucson Girls Chorus where singers are trained in music reading, vocal technique and numerous other skills and also prepare music for performance.
“This is a rare and wonderful opportunity for an undergraduate, and one that Olivia earned through her exemplary work as a student and in other capacities,” said Schauer.
Finally, Bustos has been awarded the 2021-2022 AMEA Outstanding Future Choral Music Educator Award and the 2021-2022 UCC Memorial Scholarship.
Olivia Bustos named Presser Scholar for Fred Fox School of Music
What was your reaction to receiving the award?
When I heard that I received the award, I will be honest in that I had no idea the true magnitude of the honor to be named the 2022-2023 Presser Scholar. It wasn’t until Dr. Schauer got super excited to hear that I had received the award and that Dr. Wiest asked me to accept the award at the President’s Concert with President Robbins! Of course, receiving scholarships is always very helpful, but it has truly been an honor for me to have just been recognized for all my hard work, passion, and involvement during my time as a music student at the University of Arizona.
You are very involved in so many things, how has that enhanced your university experience?
I think that being involved in clubs and organizations is what I believe really makes a memorable and impactful college experience. There are so many opportunities to connect with peers, faculty members, and others who will not only make your college experiences more enjoyable, but may help you land interviews, job offers, and more in the future. My fondest memories with friends in college come from my involvement on campus outside of the classroom, so I highly recommend that everyone make the most out of their time here and find their people!
How do you manage your schedule?
It is very difficult to balance everything, but I manage. I keep a calendar and a living to-do list to keep myself on track. I also take time for myself. It can be really easy to get in a work groove that can make it hard to justify stopping. I make sure that I am eating enough every day, getting enough sleep each night, and taking time in the evenings and on weekends to do yoga, watch my favorite TV shows, and spend time with my boyfriend and friends. I like that saying that you cannot give to others if your cup is empty. Make sure your cup is full before you attempt to push yourself even further before you burn out.
I plan to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, to teach music in the 2023-2024 academic year. It is a bit scary to plan to move my entire life across the country without even having landed a job yet, but I am very excited to have my own program and group of students. I am even more excited to start building a life with my boyfriend and start my first big girl job! 🙂
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