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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Boccarossa, ‘a shining star’ at UALR for many years, passes away

Jennifer Boccarossa, 30, conductor of the UALR Women’s Chorus and choir director at Mount St. Mary Academy, passed away at Baptist Medical Center Monday, Nov. 11, after suffering a hypertensive stroke.

Jennifer Boccarossa

Boccarossa earned her bachelor of arts degree in applied music in 2005 and M.Ed. in secondary education in 2007, both from UALR. In addition to teaching at St. Mary’s, she had previously taught at both Pulaski Technical College and UALR.

She had recently been named the assistant artistic director for UALR’s spring 2014 production of Carmina Burana, in which she would have played a major role coordinating the efforts of five high school choirs performing with the UALR Community Chorus and Arkansas Festival Ballet.

She was a frequent soloist for the UALR Community Chorus and UALR Concert Choir, including performances in Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Telemann’s Jauchzet, ihr Himmel, and Handel’s Messiah.

She appeared as a guest artist in UALR’s opera production of The Coronation of Poppea and in Godspell and Sweeney Todd at The Weekend Theater of Little Rock.

Boccarossa was described as “an energetic, goal-driven performer,” whose skills were frequently sought out and whose international singing performances included tours of Canada, Scotland, and Italy.

She is mourned by many students, past and present; fellow choir members at both Second Presbyterian Church and UALR; faculty mentors; and nearly everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

Visitation will be held at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church in Little Rock on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5 to 6 p.m., immediately followed by Holy Rosary. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. at the church Friday, Nov. 15.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jennifer Boccarossa Music Scholarship Fund at Mount Saint Mary Academy Foundation, 3224 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72205 or the Jennifer Boccarossa Memorial Scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Alumni Association, 2801 South University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72204.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home.