News & Events




Press Release



February 7, 2014

Cowley student to perform with Opera Classica Europa


Presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform with Opera Classica Europa, Cowley College freshman Sarah Scruggs will tour as part of the opera’s chorus when they perform at historic sites throughout Germany and other European cities/countries this summer.

The opportunity arose when Dr. Paul Brodene Smith, assistant professor of applied music/voice at Friends University, came to Cowley College in November to work with some of the school’s music majors.

“Dr. Smith asked me if there were any accomplished singers that would be interested in singing in an opera chorus this summer and I knew Sarah and a few others that would certainly benefit from an amazing opportunity like this,” Cowley vocal instructor Lindsay Allen said.

Allen serves as Scruggs’ applied voice and Aural Skills instructor. She also has Scruggs in her music appreciation course.

“I believe Sarah has amazing capabilities,” Allen said. “I’ve encouraged her to go on this trip so she can see what is happening in the performance world on a broader scope. I know she will learn so much from this trip to Germany and I’m certain she has the talent and drive to be successful in her career, whether it be in teaching or performing.”

There will be several days of music and staging rehearsals before the performances begin on July 26. For the most part the opera performances will be on the weekends. During the week, between performances, there will be further rehearsals and some sightseeing trips. As a service project, there are plans to have the students perform operetta/musical theater concerts for a few of the local retirement homes.

Cowley College’s Endowment Association learned of Scruggs’ trip from Allen and offered to provide Scruggs with a $500 scholarship to help make it possible for her to take part in this amazing opportunity.

“Among other things, the mission of the Endowment Association is to provide support to students through scholarships, assist in the development of the arts, and provide financial support to academic programs,” Ben Schears, vice president for institutional advancement said. “When we have an instructor who comes to us to help a student achieve a once-in-a-lifetime academic and artistic opportunity, our ears perk up. For Sarah to have an invitation to travel and perform with Opera Classica Europa throughout Germany will be a remarkable opportunity for her. We invest into the lives of students like Sarah because we know it will result in a lifetime of dividends for her personally and professionally – we’re in the business of changing lives.”

Scruggs is looking forward to learning how to speak German and to meet people from around the world.

“This is an opportunity that I could not pass up and the help I got from the Endowment Association is much appreciated,” Scruggs said.

Planned performance venues include, Schloss Braufels, Burg Eppstein, Bad Schwalbach, Wetzlar Frieliche Bühne, and Dreieichen Summer Festival.

“I hope this experience opens Sarah’s eyes to the opportunities for a music major- especially in the world of opera,” Allen said. “She is a talented young lady and will, I’m sure, learn a lot of the behind the scenes work that goes on in an opera production. These opportunities are rare for a young singer and I hope it helps her in her future education.

Allen also hopes the program at Friends University continues and additional Cowley students will be able to participate in the future.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Smith for allowing Sarah to join his group,” Allen said. “I’m also so thankful for the support of the college, especially from Slade Griffiths, Ben Schears, and Elizabeth Thummel. They have been vital in getting fundraising started for Sarah. Sarah has shown so much growth in her vocal studies already and I’m excited to see what vision she has to share with other students when returning from Germany.”