The Anthony and Olimpia Barbera Fund
Anthony and Olimpia Barbera Music Scholarship Fund
The Barbera Scholarships were established in 1992 by Olimpia Barbera to honor the memory of her husband Anthony. The scholarships, usually ranging from $2000 to $4000, assist music students born and raised in Latin America in the pursuit of a degree in the Jacobs School of Music.
To apply, the student should send a note of inquiry to the LAMC director, Carmen Helena Tellez at firstname.lastname@example.org; or mention the scholarship as he or she requests financial aid in the application form. The scholarship is competitve, and both academic records and a recommendation letter from the intended major teacher at Indiana University will be examined.
Anthony Barbera, a pharmacist for Eli Lilly and Company for 40 years, began his career in Argentina, where he met and married pianist and teacher Olimpia Farina. They would spend the next 25 years living in Uruguay, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Brazil before returning to the United States. "No matter where we lived or worked," Mrs. Barbera remarked, "our family was always enriched by these countries and their people. Since my life and work revolves around music, establishing this music scholarship at IU was a way of helping students from South America further their education at this prestigious school."
Mrs. Barbera has been actively involved in supporting music education all her life. She started by contributing to the establishment of a free music school for underprivileged children in Argentina. In Venezuela she formed and conducted a remarkable musical group of children from the School for the Deaf, who played percussion and wind instruments as well as traditional native instruments. The ensemble performed throughout the country, oftentimes accompanying a children's choir from the School for the Blind. This pro bono work was recognized nationally when Mrs. Barbera was named Woman of the Year in Venezuela, receiving a medal from President Raúl Leoni.
Mrs. Barbera continues to be involved as a teacher and patron of the arts in Indianapolis and in Bloomington. The central office of the Latin American Music Center is named in honor of Anthony and Olimpia Barbera, in recognition of her support to the building of this dedicated space inside the Cook Music Library. She also initiated the series of recordings of the LAMC with her funding of the CD of La Ciudad Celeste, a major choral-orchestral work by the Center's funder, Juan Orrego Salas.