Fox Chapel-area artist wins full master’s scholarship to University of Leeds in England

Jenna Bowman, Fox Chapel area manager and well-known musical talent, goes on an adventure across the pond.

With a hint of deja vu, she will live in an old steel town by a river.

“This time it’s England,” said Bowman, an O’Hara native and familiar face thanks to his longtime involvement in community theater and various women’s choirs.

Bowman, a 2011 graduate of Fox Chapel Area High School, recently learned that she had been awarded a full scholarship to the University of Leeds to study in the Master of Arts program in Music and Wellbeing. .

“I was at work when I found out, and I almost fell out of my chair,” Bowman said of the Tetley and Lupton Fellowship. “I called and told all the family members who would pick up the phone.”

The scholarship for international students is valued at $30,000.

A degree in musical neuroscience and psychology will help Bowman with her longer-term goal, which is to return to Pittsburgh next year and with her musician husband to open a performing arts center to serve the Fox Chapel area.

“I want to give Pittsburgh the musical and artistic foundation it deserves, especially the kids,” Bowman, 29, said.

For years she has worked to instill a passion for the arts through her various roles in the community.

A graduate of Duquesne University, Bowman is the artistic and pedagogical director of Riverfront Theater Company (RTC) in Aspinwall, the musical director and founder of Giovani Voci youth choir for girls, and the director and choreographer of The Folies of the Fox Chapel music fundraiser.

“It’s kind of impossible not to be involved here,” she said. “As soon as you graduate from Fox Chapel Area, all of these opportunities arise.”

In 2016, Bowman joined the intergenerational women’s choir Belle Voci as a vocalist, but it wasn’t long before she was paving the way for the area’s younger performers with the creation of Giovani Voci. The choral group for girls ages 6-14 performs at local attractions, including Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night celebration.

“Jenna is entirely responsible for the creation of this program,” said Craig G. Cannon, artistic director of Belle Voci.

“In addition to her musical gifts, she brings an exceptional ability to build positive relationships with every young singer. She is an outstanding young adult role model for all girls.

Many people know Bowman for her longtime stint with the Riverfront Theater Company, which began in 2017 and blossomed into helping guide young performers to achieve their theatrical dreams.

“I’m going to miss everything about RTC, but what I’ll miss the most is the young artists’ show we’re having this summer with high school kids,” she said.

A singer since elementary school, the hobby has sustained Bowman throughout high school and now into her adult life.

In her day job, Bowman works as a primary school teacher at the PA Distance Learning Charter School in Sewickley.

Throughout the covid pandemic, she began researching possible masters programs and fell in love with Leeds’ research-based offering that combines neuroscience and psychology.

The fact that her husband spent a year of his childhood in England helped cement the decision, Bowman said.

“I wanted to get up and go somewhere for a while before we moved back here,” she said. “It will give me the scientific knowledge to bring something back and improve the community.”

A current resident of Pittsburgh’s Friendship neighborhood, Bowman said she can’t wait to start her year abroad. Having never traveled to England, she is delighted to learn, visit and soak up the culture.

“I find that the busier I am, the better,” she said.

“Without all these after-school programs, there’s no way I would have considered going to graduate school for something like this,” Bowman said.

“I never thought I would step out of my box in Pittsburgh, but working with so many young kids and watching them change, grow and learn, it made me feel like there was something else to learn. .”

Tawnya Panizzi is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tawnya at 724-226-7726, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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