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### Accomplished Music Graduate Student Receives University’s Prestigious Professional Master’s Excellence Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Allison Brault, a master’s student specializing in voice performance and pedagogy within the field of music, has been honored by the University with the Professional Master’s Excellence Award for her exploration of poetry and music created by a Holocaust victim.

The award, which acknowledges students in the final stage of their graduate studies, takes into account their academic achievements and the significance of their culminating projects, which may involve creative works, performances, or professional endeavors. Brault is among the recipients from the College of Arts and Architecture, alongside Erin Stanek, a master’s student in theatre, and Kimberly Cunningham, a master’s student in architecture.

Brault’s research centers on the relatively obscure Jewish poet and amateur musician, Ilse Weber, who perished in the Holocaust. Despite the tragic circumstances, eight of Weber’s songs have endured, prompting Brault to amplify their presence through educational initiatives aimed at enriching music pedagogy. Throughout her academic journey, Brault meticulously analyzed Weber’s work from pedagogical, linguistic, and phonetic perspectives, culminating in a lecture recital showcasing Weber’s compositions.

Expressing her gratitude for the recognition, Brault remarked, “Acknowledgment of artistic accomplishments within academic spheres is a rarity, making this accolade from the University particularly meaningful to me. It affirms my dedication to enhancing the accessibility of Jewish music.”

In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Brault has imparted voice lessons to voice minors and elective students, co-taught the School of Music’s voice techniques class for instrumental music majors, served as a teaching assistant for the opera workshop, and directed opera scenes.

As a vocalist, she actively participated in various voice-related events such as weekly concerts, masterclass series, and opera productions. Beyond her academic responsibilities, Brault contributed content to the School of Music’s TikTok platform.

Reflecting on her transformative experience at Penn State, Brault shared, “These past two years have been incredibly significant to me. I have cherished every moment and am leaving with a heightened proficiency in singing and teaching. The connections I have forged with faculty and peers have been profoundly impactful.”

Brault pursued her master’s degree at Penn State following the completion of a bachelor of music degree in music education and performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Post-graduation, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree, although the specific university is yet to be determined.