A Truman Bullard Music Scholarship made a Dickinson education achievable for Vietnam native Ruby Ngo ’22 (music and quantitative economics), and she’s wringing all that she can from the opportunity. Ngo quickly distinguished herself as a well-liked and exceptionally talented and hardworking student. When an opportunity she’d worked hard to secure was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, her music advisor and piano teacher, Professor of Music Jennifer Blyth, stepped in to help.
The opportunity was the annual Concerto Competition concert, a landmark event for music majors at Dickinson. Every year, Dickinson musicians compete for a chance to perform as featured soloist. When Ngo was named the 2021 winner for her performance of Edvard Grieg’s "Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16,” she hoped to perform the work, with full orchestral backing during a live spring performance, as planned. But in the months that followed, it became clear that an in-person performance was not in the cards during the spring 2021 semester.
Blyth turned to her music-department colleagues for help in making a full-orchestra performance possible in a time of social distancing. Last spring’s livestreamed concert featured Ngo’s videotaped piano solo with full orchestral accompaniment.
That technical feat was only made possible with help from across Dickinson’s music-department community. Just as Ngo’s education is made possible by the Truman Bullard Music Scholarship.
“Ruby is really a perfect student—she’s always looking for ways to improve and learn. We wanted to honor her hard work and accomplishments,” says Blyth, noting that Ngo. “We had no idea if we could actually make this work, but we knew we needed to try.”
“Piano lessons with Professor Blyth during this crazy pandemic are those times that I looked forward to the most,” Ngo says. “I really love her as a person—not just as a professor, but as my friend.”
Ngo is just one of the more than 1,700 Dickinson students benefiting from the scholarships and financial aid provided through the college's Campaign for Scholarships: Change a Life—Change the World. To learn more about the campaign, which aims to provide a scholarship for every Dickinson student who needs one, visit www.dickinson.edu/change.
Published May 16, 2021
Published January 6, 2022