I’m very grateful to Maurizio and Laura Nisita.
Angelita Berdiales’ journey from Lima, Peru to Florida Gulf Coast University began with a chance encounter with Dr. Michael Baron, professor of music and head of keyboard studies in the Bower School of Music & the Arts at FGCU. Baron performs more than 40 concerts a year throughout Europe, South America, Asia and the United States. Berdiales attended Baron’s concert and masterclass in Peru. He invited her to submit a recording of her work; she did and was accepted into FGCU. The only obstacle – the financial wherewithal to accept.
With Baron’s help, she applied for and received the Maurizio and Laura Nisita Scholarship as well as an FGCU Music Scholarship.
“I’m very grateful to Maurizio and Laura Nisita,” she said. “The possibility of attending FGCU was exciting for me, but with all the expenses, it would have been impossible without their help. I’m so thankful. I don’t want to disappoint them. I want to be the best student I can be so that they and my professors can be proud.”
Not only has Berdiales personally thanked the Nisitas for their generosity, she has become a friend of the family, even joining them for Thanksgiving dinner.
“The Nisitas are very friendly and always very helpful,” she said. “When they come to a concert at the university, I speak with them. They’re always interested in how I’m doing.”
In Peru, Berdiales moved in classical music circles, albeit smaller than those available to her now, so the chance to study at FGCU was a welcome opportunity. “It’s a different world,” she said. “In the United States you can make more connections and have broader opportunities. My goal is to become a solo pianist. I also would love to accompany chamber ensembles. One day, I would like to create my own ensemble.”
In 2017, Berdiales entered and won the Prescott Concerto Competition run by Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. In addition to a monetary award, she performed a solo with the orchestra at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.
But, she said, it all comes down to “Without financial support, I would not have been able to come to America and study music at FGCU.
“I’m really thankful to be studying here. I’m thankful not only to the Nisitas, but also to Dr. Baron, who helped make it happen, and all my professors in the music school, who are very interactive with students, help a lot, and are intelligent and wise.”