News Release| Fulbright Scholarship; Cal State L.A.

July 10, 2012

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CSULA professor to travel to Costa Rica as a Fulbright Scholar

Belan to teach conducting pedagogy at the University of Costa Rica, SINEM

Los Angeles, CA  -- William L. Belan, an emeritus professor of music at Cal State L.A., has recently been honored with a 2012-13 Fulbright award to Costa Rica for six months.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Belan (Monterey Park resident) will present workshops on conducting pedagogy at the University of Costa Rica, in the capitol of San José, and then teach choral conductors who work for Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical (SINEM), a national social music program.

“The SINEM conductors/teachers are responsible for leading choirs in rural areas of the country of Costa Rica,” said Belan. “In many cases the directors are trained in disciplines other than choral conducting, so my teaching provides them with a formal pedagogy from which to work.” 

He will also be developing a formal network to better connect the conductors with materials, and each other, in order to build an active resource and online community for their work.

“As an emeritus professor this certainly brings general recognition to my career in choral music, and more specifically, my work in Costa Rica,” noted Belan. “I have been invited to Costa Rica on more than 40 occasions to teach, conduct and consult to the country’s choral development. So, it feels very satisfying to receive this recognition. I am grateful to Cal State L.A. for the ongoing support I have received throughout my tenure to do such work in Costa Rica.” 

Belan is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, organized by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“This award also begins a new chapter in my professional life that I expect will nurture personal development and lead to greater service to my craft and the people I serve,” explained Belan. “There is no more visible international program than the Fulbright organization, so I am truly honored to be selected for this award.”

At CSULA, Belan also directs the Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies, and teaches conducting, literature and graduate projects. He is a founding director of the Three Summer Master of Music in Choral Conducting at CSULA, recognized as one of the premiere master’s programs of choral conducting in the country.

In addition, Belan serves as the national chair for research and publications for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Last month, he participated in a national ACDA/ Library of Congress symposium on American choral music, entitled “The Search For An American Style,” in Washington, D.C.

Belan has published more than 150 choral editions of Latin American music in print, as well as three books, including a new publication on Latin-American rhythms. Belan continues to conduct regularly in concert and honor choir settings.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.  For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit the website at

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