Zoe Vandermeer of Gaylordsville has been awarded the 2017 Recipient of the Mimi Burkhardt Continuing Education Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded by the Gaylordsville Historical Society for the pursuit of a master’s degree through the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, focusing on the 19th century Swedish opera diva Jenny Lind, her life, times, and voice.

Vandermeer, on the Roster of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, has been developing her Jenny Lind Project for several years.

Last September, Vandermeer gave a solo concert as the National Park Service166th Anniversary Celebration of Jenny Lind's New York Debut at Castle Clinton, Battery Park, New York City.

The music selections featured music Lind sang on her famed American Tour, 1850-52.

In that program, Vandermeer accompanied her operatic singing on Welsh triple harp.

Lind was brought to America in 1850 by Connecticut's own P.T. Barnum.

Lind, by that time, had performed numerous times for the Queen of England, and had established an international reputation for vocal excellence, dramatic prowess, and a humble nature.

Having been substantially rewarded financially for her performances, Lind in turn became a philanthropist, and gave generously to the poor, schools, and others in need, as she had a deep appreciation for life's struggles, having grown up in poverty.

Vandermeer is a prize-winning graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and is a recipient of the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, Emerging Artists Fund, and the MTNA Foundation Grant, the latter was awarded in 2012 for her research into the voice and life of Lind.

She looks forward to her future book, recording, and concert tours honoring the Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind, nationally and internationally.

Future performances include Vandermeer's Jenny Lind concert at the Rio Harp Festival in May 2018.

Vandermeer is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas in New York City.