The Juilliard School of Music has found an innovative way to skirt Western New York residency requirements for a prestigious Buffalo-based music scholarship.
Unable to find qualified applicants for scholarship money specifically designated for area residents, the Manhattan music school settled for students who have attended the Chautauqua Institution's summer music school.
No matter if they spent the other 10 months of the year in their home states of Connecticut, California, South Carolina or Kentucky.
A young mezzo soprano from Buffalo made it to the final auditions this year, according to Carolyn R. Caufield, Juilliard attorney.
"Unfortunately, Juilliard admitted only 20 voice students this year, one of the lowest number in years," Ms. Caufield said, "and the young woman from Buffalo lost out, but she was put on a 'wait list.' "
Erie County Surrogate Joseph S. Mattina ordered the residency requirement a year ago. He said last week he was "waiting to hear from Juilliard how they can justify these scholarships. But in the meantime, we will do our own investigation."
He appointed Roger B. Simon, an estate attorney and president of the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County, as court steward of the Harriet and Albert J. Ziegele Scholarship Fund, now worth almost $700,000.
After learning that for more than 10 years not one student had applied for assistance from the fund, originally only for residents of Buffalo who needed financial aid to attend Juilliard, Mattina extended the boundary lines beyond Buffalo to the entire 8th Judicial District. This permitted applicants from Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, but Mattina stipulated there would be priority for Buffalo residents, followed by Erie County residents. During the first years of the scholarship, 13 Buffalo students received financial assistance for their Juilliard studies.
The scholarship fund was established in 1970, according to the will of Norma Krull, an heir to the Ziegele Brewery -- one of more than 50 breweries located in Buffalo during the last half of the 19th century.
William D. Maldovan, an assistant attorney general overseeing the deposition of the estate, said the music school sent out "an extensive mailing about the availability of the scholarship to schools, counselors and music teachers. But it didn't go out until sometime in December," he said, "so it could well have been too late for students planning to enter college this fall."