Nancy Zacharczyk Piano Scholarship
The Nancy Zacharczyk Piano Scholarship provides scholarship support for out-of-state undergraduate students pursuing a major in piano in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
In 1959, Nancy Zacharczyk was beginning High School and her 7th year of piano lessons. She was surprised when her piano teacher, Mrs. Watkins from Harrisonburg, Virginia said, "When you graduate, I would like to see you continue your piano studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana." She could not imagine leaving her home in Virginia. However, she began to see this as an opportunity and challenge. The day finally came when the car was packed, and she and her parents were on their way to IU. Upon arrival, there was no time for visiting the campus. Her father and mother literally dropped her off, said their goodbyes, wished her the best, and began their long journey home.
During her third year of study at IU, and learning that her father had lost his job, she was determined by whatever means to complete her Bachelor's degree. She had graciously accompanied student's vocal and instrumental recitals, but now accompanying became a source of income, as did ironing men's shirts at fifteen cents a shirt. To her surprise, she was given a 'Piano Scholarship' allowing her to earn her Bachelor's degree. Also, with a two-year graduate assistantship teaching class piano to undergraduates, she received a Master's degree in Piano Performance, then worked toward her Doctorate.
Nancy inquired about a college teaching position, through an IU Professor who mentioned Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana being in need of a pianist/accompanist. She met with the SLU music faculty, and was immediately asked to give a thirty-minute concert. After a most hearty applause, she was offered and accepted the position as Piano lnstructor and Staff Accompanist.
Nearing the end of her second year of teaching at SLU, she and her former IU roommate discussed going to Europe to perform as a 'Duo Piano Team'. Thankfully, she had saved one-thousand two hundred dollars knowing she would need every penny. Being familiar with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, MA, this would be a reasonable location for getting to, and sailing from New York. They inquired, were immediately welcomed as piano accompanists for the theatre's summer season, and also gave their very first 'Duo-Piano Concert'. Mid-summer, Fall approaching, their September cruise to Europe on the S.S. France was booked. They toured and concertized throughout Europe for eight months, with $25 left to her name.
During her journey Nancy wrote to the French Line, inquiring as to a 'Duo-Piano Team' for the April, 1972 final 10-days of 'Round the World Cruise' and they were hired. The eve of their concert, the ship's waltz-like movement from huge waves 'spoke' to them so they played the beautiful "Blue Danube Waltz" as their grand finale.
Now back home in the U.S.A., Nancy accepted a position at the Julius Hartt School of Music, West Hartford, CT., July, 1972 as 'Piano Instructor'. Four years later and married, her husband's work transferred them to Houston, Texas. Within two years of opening her own piano studio, she had a class of fifty students. Later, living in Rockville, Maryland, she continued her studio teaching, and also became a Licensed Realtor. With a final move to Woodbridge, VA., she commuted to Maryland teaching for three more years then said her goodbyes. Her teaching career had ended; or so she thought. Soon thereafter, she met a relative in Costco asking, "What do you think of teaching my son piano?" She responded, "We'll see!" Those last seventeen years, she taught three incredibly talented students; her relatives, each giving a ninety-minute, memorized concert. The last of these three students performed the most challenging thirty-page Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' as his grand finale; the most wonderful treasured gift of her entire teaching career.