Westport’s Nick DiBerardino Named Rhodes Scholar

Westport Now

Nichols A. DiBerardino, who collected used musical instruments for underprivileged Bridgeport students while at Westport’s Staples High School and went on to win plaudits as a composer at Princeton University, today was named a 2010 Rhodes Scholar.

The 21-year-old 2007 Staples graduate was among 32 winners of the most prestigious academic award available to U.S. college students. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

The Rhodes announcement came less than one week after DiBerardino learned that he had won a Marshall Scholarship, which would have funded two years of study at the Royal College of Music in London. Because the Rhodes Trust mandates that recipients accept the scholarship, he had to turn down the Marshall Scholarship.

“The Marshall was such a great opportunity ... that it was hard to turn down, and I had to go into the Rhodes interview knowing I’d take Oxford over RCM,” DiBerardino said in an e-mail to the Daily Princetonian. “It’s such an honor, and I’m not sure it’s ever going to sink in.”

A senior at Princeton where he majors in music (composition), DiBerardino is a campus leader in student government and a junior member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is an accomplished composer with many awards for his compositions.

He plans to do the M.Phil. in music at Oxford, according to a news release by The Rhodes Trust. He has been a composer in residence at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and the European American Musical Alliance in Paris.

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