Indonesia's Government Awards Two Recent UR Graduates Scholarships to Study Country's Music and Culture

June 12, 2019

Two recent University of Richmond alumni have been awarded yearlong scholarships to study language, art, and culture in Java, Indonesia.

The Darmasiswa Scholarship Program, organized by Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to promote and increase international interest in Indonesian culture and build cultural understanding across countries.

This year’s Darmasiswa scholarship awardees span the globe from Kyrgystan to Madacascar to Uruguay. University of Richmond’s Zachary Cain and Emily Bradford were two of fourteen selected from the United States.

emily-bradfordBradford, a Richmond native and a 2018 graduate, will return to Indonesia for a third time. She participated in University of Richmond’s Chaplaincy pilgrimage to Bali in 2016 and returned in 2017 as a part of her summer research fellowship to investigate tourism in Bali and its role in shaping Balinese identity. Bradford is a musician who has studied and performed gamelan, a style of ensemble music indigenous to the island, in Gamelan Raga Kusuma, a Richmond-based Indonesian ensemble.

“In Indonesia, I will study a genre of traditional Javanese gamelan music called ‘karawitan’ and continue devoting time to my studies in Indonesian and Javanese languages,” said Bradford. “I want to continue to learn, perform, and teach this music for the rest of my life, whether that is in a classroom or a community setting.”

zack-cainCain, a 2019 graduate from Rockville, Maryland, majored in music and minored in Teacher Education: Secondary. Like Bradford, Cain used university funding for summer research in Bali, Indonesia, studying the musical traditions of gamelan. He has studied and performed with master Indonesian artists at the Smithsonian Institute, the Kennedy Center and the Indonesian Embassy. Cain also received a 2019 Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State, where he is currently studying Indonesian language for eight to ten weeks.

Both Cain and Bradford studied under University of Richmond music professor Andy McGraw, an ethnomusicologist who has studied Indonesian music and culture for more than 20 years.

“Emily and Zack are gifted with a rare combination of serious musicianship, unselfconscious generosity, cultural sensitivity, and curiosity,” said McGraw. “I am confident that they will make the most of their Darmasiswa scholarships and contribute to new and meaningful cross-cultural understandings of Indonesia.”

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