For baritone Angky Budiardjono G’15, the Setnor School of Music is a nurturing environment where he’s realizing his dream of being an opera singer. It’s also been an open door to an exciting opportunity. Thanks to the Baker Artists Program, established through a gift from the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, he was able to spend four weeks training and performing in an intensive summer singing program at California’s nationally acclaimed OperaWorks school.
Where I’m from…
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. My family moved to America when I was only eight years old to give my sister and me a better education. We moved to Santa Barbara, California, and I remained there throughout my schooling, including earning my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Why I chose Syracuse University…
My career goal is to be a successful opera singer. Because the East Coast is closer to Europe and auditions happen more frequently in New York City than anywhere on the West Coast, I decided it would be the best place to work toward my master’s degree in vocal performance and launch my career. I also wanted a nurturing environment where I could spend time cultivating my vocal technique, and I feel I’ve found that here. The teachers at the Setnor School of Music take the time to focus on each student’s needs and provide a lot of support, so we can grow to be competent musicians.
What I love most about it…
I love the faculty here, specifically in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They’re very supportive, but they also push the students forward to reach their goals.
What Syracuse University means to me…
It means a period of transition as well as maturity, as it’s the first time I moved away from home and experienced a bit of real life. Here, I’ve been able to grow up and pursue a career I would be lucky to have.
What I would say to someone who is thinking about giving…
To anyone thinking of giving to Syracuse University, please do so. It’s a supportive environment and a place where students can grow and mature into something better. I would especially encourage them to consider giving to the Setnor School of Music. It’s so hard to find funding, but the arts are so very important and can have a huge impact on many people.
The Baker Artists Program:
Linking Students and Professionals
Launched in 2013 in the Rose, Jules R., and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music, the Baker Artists Program is creating more opportunities for students to learn from and connect with music professionals—both on and off campus.
Made possible by a grant from the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, the program enables the school to establish a more robust on-campus residency program and provides support for music majors to attend master classes, workshops, and performances in such major music cities as New York, Boston, Montreal, and Toronto.
“We are pleased to provide this program as a complement to the four Setnor music portfolio degrees, while also making the visiting artists an artistic dimension for all Syracuse students, faculty, staff, and the broader Syracuse community too,” say Dorothy Hess Baker ’49 and Ellen Baker Ghelardi ’73.
The Baker Artists Program’s on-campus residency component brings leading performers, educational scholars, composers, and industry leaders to campus, while off-campus learning opportunities shrink the distance between Syracuse and major music centers, making them accessible to Setnor students as a regular part of the curriculum. In addition to providing master classes, lectures, and performances for Setnor students, the visiting artists often lecture and perform for the public.
The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation was formed in 1986 by Dexter F. Baker, former chairman and CEO of Air Products, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, and his wife, Dorothy, who graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance. The foundation has underwritten several artistic and educational initiatives in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Florida.
Their daughter, Ellen Baker Ghelardi, earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. She is the executive director of her family’s foundation, which gives more than half of its annual grants to arts and culture initiatives.
Ghelardi is the founder and former executive director of Theatre on Wheels in Houston. She also served as a consultant and trainer with the Texas Educational Theatre Association Inc./Creative Drama Network and has been a grants panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.