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Spirit of the Gift 

Spirit of the Gift Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's Endowed Funds

Shera Barton Memorial Vocal Fellowship

Shera Barton’s memory lives on in the hearts and minds of her brother and mother, Craig Barton and Patsy Barton. In 2013, both felt that the timing was right to create a vocal music fellowship in her memory. Shera Barton loved to perform in musical productions and developed her singing talents on stage at Southeast High School in Wichita. “She was very shy and quiet, but when she was on stage, she discovered something she didn’t know she had, a tremendous voice” said Mr. Barton.

At 19 years old, Shera Barton began a five-year battle with breast cancer, which prevented her from pursing her singing career. In 1990, Ms. Barton died at the age of 24. Mr. Barton and his mother hope that by sharing Shera Barton’s story, vocal students will be encouraged to pursue their dreams. This is the first fellowship in the College of Fine Arts School of Music that is directed for female voices. This award was developed for female vocalists, who have a passion and ability to do something with their musical talent—someone who wants to make music her profession.

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