Mary Coffman Tilton Harpsichord Fellowship

(est. 2008)

Mary Hartwell Coffman Tilton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on August 28, 1942. She grew up in Arlington, Virginia, where her father was a lawyer for the Department of Agriculture. She attended Wooster College in Ohio, earning a bachelor's degree in music performance in 1964, and attended Yale School of Music for her master's degree in 1966.

After moving to Bloomington in 1970 with her husband, Timothy Tilson, and her children had entered school, Tilton began to study harpsichord at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under Anthony Newman and Elisabeth Wright. In 1987, she won the audience prize in the Magnum Opus harpsichord competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1995, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in literature and performance of early music from IU. Her teacher, Elisabeth Wright, remarked, "She was at the top of her class all the way through her graduate courses, even while maintaining a job and caring for her two children."

Tilton promoted the performance and appreciation of early Baroque music in the Bloomington community. She was president of the baord of Early Music ASsociates, the nonprofit organization that is responsible for the annual Bloomington Early Music Festival. Her efforts contributed to the growth and known prestige of the festival and encouraged young performers in the field of historical performance. She was also a teacher of harpsichord in the pre-college program of the Historical Performance Institute at the Jacobs School.

The Jacobs School of Music is proud to award the Mary Coffman Tilton Harpsichord Fellowship to support graduate students studying harpsichord at the Jacobs School.