July 31, 2012


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Professor Catherine "Kay" Payn Scholarship Fund has been established at Bucknell University through a gift from 1980 Bucknell alumnus Frank Lattal, his wife, Gretta, and their daughter, Emily, who graduated from Bucknell this spring as a music performance major.

An associate professor of music, Payn joined the faculty at Bucknell in 1989. She is the director of the Bucknell Opera Company and specializes in performance and production of American art song and contemporary chamber opera.

The recipient of degrees from Westminster Choir College and West Virginia University, Payn is an active presenter, clinician and adjudicator in voice and opera.

The gift is a testimony of the family's deep appreciation and affection for a teacher, mentor and friend who consistently builds in her students a skill set for academic curiosity, a discipline for effective learning and a lifelong passion for opera.

"Payn's passion for teaching and developing the vocal skills of young performers inspired the Lattal family to recognize her work and honor her commitment to students, including Emily, whose life she has touched deeply," according to the scholarship description.

Once fully established, this need-based scholarship will be awarded to students studying voice or music, with preference given to those studying opera.

This is the second time the Lattals have honored Payn; in 2010 the family specifically credited her influence on students and her passion for music when they established an endowment for the benefit of the Bucknell Opera Company.

Established more than 20 years ago, the Bucknell Opera Company includes auditioned undergraduate musicians whose fields of study represent many of the other curricular areas of the University.

Students in the Company interact with composers, directors, and singers in residencies, masterclasses and workshops, including past presenters Metropolitan Opera soprano Heidi Grant Murphy and pianist Kevin Murphy, actor Curt Branom, and composers Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, Tom Johnson and Milton Granger.

Members of the Company have gone on to study at schools including the Manhattan School of Music and to intern at the Metropolitan and Washington operas.

Bucknell Opera Company performance dates in the 2012-13 academic year are scheduled for Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building, and April 20, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

Contact: Division of Communications