The Hall Musco-Conservatory of Music announced its first-ever recipient of the new Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award for the 2018/19 academic year. The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the deeds of trust and will of Theodore Presser, a respected music teacher and publisher. The Foundation supports music performance and education through undergraduate and graduate scholar awards, and operating and program support for music organizations.

This new award at Chapman is presented by the music faculty to an outstanding student majoring in music at the end of the student’s junior year, solely by consideration of excellence and merit. The winner receives a $4,000 award to be used towards expenses normally incurred in pursuit of a degree in music or for additional enrichment and musical advancement opportunities not normally provided in a university or conservatory setting.

Woman with trumpet

Gemi Acupan (’20)

The recipient of the inaugural 2019 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is Gemi Acupan (’20), a double major in trumpet and conducting performance, with a minor in leadership studies. Upon learning of the honor Gemi said, “I hope to use my talents to help and serve my community.”

“In my 35 years of teaching, I can only think of two other students that were as driven to succeed as this person,” said Tim Hall, Chapman’s interim director of woodwind and brass studies. “She does all of this with a smile, and is liked by everyone.”

Gemi is one of the Conservatory’s top academic students with a 3.986 GPA. In addition to playing in the orchestra, wind symphony, and various small brass ensembles, Gemi serves as the Wind Symphony manager and also tutors in music theory, aural skills, and music history. She took up the mantle of past Chapman trumpet majors to contribute to the wider community as bugler for the Orange Plaza Patriots, performing every Wednesday evening in the Old Towne Orange circle. She has been an invaluable assistant to the woodwind/brass area and this summer will be T.A. for Tim Hall, director of Chapman’s winds and brass program, at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, CA. In addition, Gemi recently auditioned for and was accepted to the 300th Army Reserve Band.