Alabama State Council on the Arts Awards Prestigious Artist Grant to University of Mobile Steinway Artist Kadisha Onalbayeva

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University of Mobile associate professor and Steinway Artist Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva was awarded one of only 12 artist fellowship grants by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The Alabama School of the Arts professor was the only musician as well as the only recipient from Mobile to be awarded one of the $5,000 grants.

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding individual Alabama artists and recognize artistic excellence, professional commitment and maturity and contribute to the further development of the artist and the advancement of his or her professional career. Recipients use funds to set aside time to create art, improve their skills, or to do what is most advantageous to enhance their artistic careers. Selected artists create important works of art and make valuable contributions to the entire state.

Dora James, chairman of the Council said, “Our state is fortunate to have so many artists from every artistic discipline producing works of the highest caliber.”

During this year-long fellowship, Onalbayeva will perform orchestral and solo concerts throughout southern Alabama, work with area schools in music outreach, and submit an article for publication to the Piano Pedagogy Forum of The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, Kingston, NJ. A recording and world premiere performance of a work by American composer Lawrence Moss is also planned.

As chair of the piano department in the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile, Onalbayeva will perform a recital with student workshop. A highlight of the fellowship will be a solo performance on June 6, 2018 at Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY.

About Kadisha Onalbayeva
Onalbayeva, a native of Kazakhstan, began her musical training at age five. After immigrating to the United States in 2003, she earned dual M.M degrees in composition and piano performance at the University of New Orleans, followed by a DMA in piano performance from Louisiana State University. Onalbayeva, a Steinway Artist, is also chair of the piano department at the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. She maintains a vigorous performance and outreach schedule. For more information, visit her website at

About the Alabama State Council on the Arts
The mission of the Alabama State Council on the Arts is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality for all Alabamians by providing support for the state’s diverse and rich artistic resources. ASCA is Alabama’s official state arts agency. Directed by Al Head, ASCA administers grants programs and provides financial assistance in arts planning and programming. ASCA receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information, visit


About University of Mobile:

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres. For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist with a strong background in strategic communications, feature writing/story-telling, copywriting and editing. She serves as assistant vice president for university communications. Kathy joined the University of Mobile marketing/public relations staff in 1993 and has earned awards for writing, public relations and advertising, including twice receiving the grand prize for feature writing from the Baptist Communicators Association. She serves on the board of the John M. Will Scholarship Foundation, awarding scholarships to promising student journalists; and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.

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