Scholarship Benefit Concert Helps Continue the Legacy of William Warfield

December 28, 2007

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,
For The Public: 585-274-1100

An annual concert that supports the William Warfield Scholarship Fund and continues the legacy of one of the great vocal artists of the 20th century will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, in the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

Since it was founded in 1977, the William Warfield Scholarship Fund has provided financial aid to more than 30 talented and deserving voice students at the Eastman School of Music. Scholarship recipients have included the first recipient, baritone Derrick Smith, who has performed in operatic roles and as a concert soloist in the United States, Brazil, and Europe; and soprano Nicole Cabell, who won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, one of the music world’s highest-profile competitions, in 2005.

“The Fund helps provide the financial means for singers to receive the training they need to be successful in their field,” said Michael Warfield, president of the William Warfield Scholarship Fund and a nephew of the acclaimed star. “The Fund also keeps alive Uncle Bill’s legacy as a singer, orator, teacher, and mentor so that others will be inspired and commit to pursue their dreams and their education.”

The fundraising concert will feature this year’s scholarship recipient, soprano Julia Allyson Bullock, a native of St. Louis who’s currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music. Also performing will be the Rochester Boys Choir, soprano Nadine Carey, and Thomas Warfield, a nephew of William Warfield who has developed a wide-reaching career as a professional singer, dancer, pianist, and actor.

Tickets to the “William Warfield: A Legacy of Music” concert are $15 and are available at the door; through the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office at 108 East Ave. or (585) 454-2100; or online at or

William Warfield was known worldwide for his work as a soloist, recitalist, actor, and narrator. Born in Arkansas, he moved to Rochester with his family as a young boy and attended Rochester city schools. During his senior year, he won the National Music Educators League Competition and a full scholarship to any American music school of his choice. Warfield chose the Eastman School of Music, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastman in 1942 and 1946, respectively. Perhaps best known for his portrayals of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and of Joe, the dock hand, in the movie Showboat, he won a Grammy Award in 1984 for his narration of Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonia. Warfield died in 2002 at the age of 82.

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Calendar Listing:

Sunday, Jan. 13
4 p.m.
“William Warfield: A Legacy of Music,” an annual fundraising concert for the William Warfield Scholarship Fund
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $15, available at the door; through the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave., or (585) 454-2100; or online at or